MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley Junior High Storm Structure robotics team traveled to Champaign on Jan. 25 to compete in the first Lego League State Championship tournament.
This is the first time since the program restarted four years ago that a Bureau Valley team qualified for state. The event is an all-day rigorously-judged competition. Each team builds a robot, creates attachments for it, and programs the robot to complete missions for points. In addition to the robotics portion, they have to present a project in which they develop an innovative solution to a real-world problem. Students are expected to consult with experts in order to figure out which problems are faced.
This year’s topic was Cities and Communities. The Storm Structure team won first place with their project at the qualifying tournament hosted by John Deere in December. The team chose the problem of lack of communication between community members and the village if a lightbulb goes out on a streetlight in the community. They created a prototype of a product that would be attached to all light poles within the village. It is a quick and easy response system to send messages to the village.
At the championship tournament, the team scored 42 out of the 45 points for this project, and fell within the top 5 percent of all teams across the state with their robot missions points. The team consists of 10 members: Elizabeth Backer, Ella Thacker, Payne Lind, Eli Attig, T.J. Hunt, Faith Creason, Landon Hulsing, Nathan Siri, Eve Massa and Aidan Morris.
Bureau Valley had a second team of all rookie members, the Storm Twisters. They also competed at John Deere headquarters. Out of 32 teams, they scored the second most amount of points on their robot and missions. This was an outstanding performance from all first-year members. Members on this team consisted of Ayden Bryant, Braelyn Sullivan, Atticus Middleton, Owen Larkin, Tony Zueger, Andy Zueger, Luke Gualandri, Andrew
Roth, Emersyn Ledegerber and Bradyn Arians.
Both teams are coached by Keegan Roth and Tracey Schoff.