No world championship, but local Lego science teens still winners

The local “Scientific Touch” Lego science team competed in the world championship tournament in St. Louis after coming in second in the Ohio competition. The teens — most of whom come from Butler County’s Lakota Schools — were among only 108 teams across the globe invited to the the international FIRST LEGO League World Tournament.
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The local “Scientific Touch” Lego science team competed in the world championship tournament in St. Louis after coming in second in the Ohio competition. The teens — most of whom come from Butler County’s Lakota Schools — were among only 108 teams across the globe invited to the the international FIRST LEGO League World Tournament.

They didn’t come back global champions, but by beating hundreds of Ohio teens the local Lego science team were winners just for advancing to a highly competitive world tournament on their first try.

The “Scientific Touch” First Lego League team — with most of its members being Lakota School middle school students — did return from St. Louis this week having earned a second place honor in one of the three main categories of judging at the FIRST LEGO League World Tournament.

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The seven teens, who were recently honored by Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Troy) for their achievements, were runner ups in the “project research” category of the international competition against 107 other teenage teams from around the world.

One of the team’s adult volunteer coaches — Shirley Lee — said four-night stay in St. Louis going head-to-head with some of the world’s smartest youths was an invaluable experience for the teens.

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AT A GLANCE

The local “Scientific Touch” Lego team earned a second place finish in the “research” category of the project judging at the recent World Championships in St. Louis.

The team members – coached by volunteers Shirley Lee, Ajay Sharma and Sachin Mukherjee – are:

• Ryan Cheng - 7th grader from Lakota Schools

• Samiksha Mukherjee - 7th grader from Lakota

• Sudiksha Mukherjee - 7th grader from Lakota

• Esha Reddy - 7th grader from Mason Schools

• Jude Saddler - 8th grader from Lakota

• Arushi Sharma - 8th grader from Sycamore Schools

• Sam Vessel - 8th grader from the private Bethany School in Glendale

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Only one of the three portions of the annual global science tournament involved building and working a Lego robot, which the team did well enough in February to win runner-up among more than 500 competitors in Ohio.

That landed them a spot among only 108 teams — from more than 32,000 teams and 255,000 students from dozens of foreign nations — in the world tournament.

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“It was very competitive and over a dozen judges came to the booth and ask details questions about the project,” said Lee of the team’s design for a skyscraper window reflection system to reduce the high incidents of birds flying into windows of the tall structures.

Their project also included using window shadowing elements can also absorb and produce solar energy, reducing the heating and cooling costs for any building.

“Overall is was an excellent learning experience and got to meet many teams from other countries. And the speakers at the World’s opening and closing ceremonies had plenty of inspiring things to say, not only about the students’ efforts, achievements and performance, but about the doors they were opening to the future through their involvement in FIRST LEGO,” said Lee.

“We all had a blast,” she said.

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