My colleague here teaches science to all of the fifth graders He is an incredible teacher.
He taught the students about simple machines and some basic properties of physics. Then for the past few weeks, they have been using kits to make Lego battle-bots. Once all of the battle-bots were built, they had a tournament to find out which one was the best.
This morning he held the “Final Four” and the championship match during break. There was incredible energy and excitement in the room as all of the fifth graders (and many sixth graders) circled around the ring. My colleague explained the rules to all present with a particular emphasis on sportsmanship.
In both semi-finals, one battle-bot was clearly superior and easily defeated the other. Each team shook hands after the results. That set up the championship match. One semi-final winner was built by girls and the other was built by boys. Therefore, all of the girls in attendance seemed to be cheering for the girls’ bot and the boys for the latter.
My colleague gave the countdown and the machines sped toward each other in the ring. Neither was able to push the other out of the ring. Instead, they both motored out of the space on the side. My colleague explained that when this happens, neither team wins. So they lined up again. The same result occurred again.
After three trials with no clear winner, my colleague announced that there would only be three more trials. If the same result occurred then both bots would be declared co-winners. He stated that in all the years that his class has had a battle-bots competition (he has been doing this for at least fifteen years), there has never been a co-winner.
Three more times the bots crashed into each other with neither one demonstrating superiority. So for the first time this morning, we had co-winners in the fifth grade battle bots competition!