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Shady Side Academy team earns Elementary Excellence Award at First Lego League

Tawnya Panizzi
| Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, 12:03 p.m.
Shady Side Academy’s middle and junior schools had four robotics teams at the Western Pennsylvania First Lego League Grand Championship in January at La Roche College.
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Shady Side Academy’s middle and junior schools had four robotics teams at the Western Pennsylvania First Lego League Grand Championship in January at La Roche College.
Shady Side Academy’s middle and junior schools robotics teams had to build and program robots to complete tasks at the Western Pennsylvania First Lego League Grand Championship in January at La Roche College.
submitted
Shady Side Academy’s middle and junior schools robotics teams had to build and program robots to complete tasks at the Western Pennsylvania First Lego League Grand Championship in January at La Roche College.

Shady Side Academy's junior school robotics team earned the Elementary Excellence Award for its performance at the Western Pennsylvania First Lego League Grand Championship at La Roche College.

The team was judged on programming, teamwork, a research project and a robot game.

Team members — third-grader David Dillon, fourth-graders Regan Mulderig, Sam Davidheiser, Abigail Mullin and Colin Hunzeker and fifth-graders Ava Terezis, Michael McCarroll, Jasper Chapman and Mohamed Elsayed — researched ways to reduce the amount of excess water used on crops.

Students focused on cotton and devised a system of underground watering with remote sensors that detect when cotton plants need water.

The innovative solution allows farmers to control which sections of the fields receive water.

The junior school team is coached by science teacher Jeff McCarroll.

A total of 32 teams competed to design, build and program robots to complete tasks related to this year's theme, Hydro Dynamics.

SSA middle school had three teams compete.

The Blue Team of eighth-grader Anker Zhao and sixth-graders Jack Bransome, Joe Krokosky and Hari Viswanathan, placed third overall and among the top 10 in programming.The Gold Team of eighth-grader Isabel Brunner, seventh-graders Elizabeth Kamin, Cassidy Mineo and Smrithi Shyam, and sixth-graders Ahniya Anthony, Marley Grandizio and Rachel Nath placed seventh overall and among the top 10 in innovation and core values.

The Green Team of seventh-grader Jason Xie and sixth-graders Andrew Hoe, Otis Liu and Leo Rickard placed 11th overall.

The middle school robotics teams are coached by science teachers Matt Brunner and John Matia.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review.

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