Western PA FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship



On Jan. 9, La Roche College and Providence Heights Alpha School hosted the Western PA FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Grand Championship. Seventy-three teams of children ages 9 to 14 participated in the three parts of the FLL event: Robot Game, Project, and Core Values.

The winning team from Western Pennsylvania was “Not the Droids You Are Looking For” from Fox Chapel.  This team is made up of two brothers, Sanjay and Arvind Seshan.  They won First Place Robot Game for the highest robot performance score as well as First Place Champion.  This team will be representing the region at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival Tournament in April.

“Techno Trash” who we featured as Movers & Shakers of the Month in our January Northern Connection issue finished at the top of the rankings, The team who is mentored by Maria Yamanaka of GreenE Academy, took home the first place in Programming for their “great use, understanding, and explanation” of advanced robot control methods. They were recognized by the judges for the best explanation of advanced programming concepts “ever.” They also earned the third best score on the game table.

The two teams from Providence Heights Alpha School, also mentored by Maria Yamanaka, were recognized by their excellence as well. “Alphabots Varsity” received the first place in the Project Presentation category for their work on the proper disposal of hazardous household waste. The “Alphabots JV” team took home the second place in Core Values Inspiration.

The “Robovikings” team from St. Ursula School won second place for programming at the FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship. In preparation for the event Robovikings competed in a scrimmage on Nov. 6 at Sarah Heinz house. They placed third overall for their robot performance and also won first place award for the most creative use of trash bags.  At the Nov. 21 scrimmage at Aquinas Academy, the Robovikings garnered a second place honors.

Aquinas Academy Robotics Club sent two teams to the Western PA FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship. The two teams consisted of captains, Alex Garcia and Benjamin Stalder along with Andy D’Angelo, Benjamin Everson, Sam Everson, Enzo Flati, Diego Garcia, Theresa Gates, Grant Kaercher, Rosemary Kenney, Will Kunzman, Adam Ohayon, AJ Yellin, and Brad Yocca. Aquinas Academy’s teams placed eleventh and thirty-ninth in a field of seventy-three teams. The Aquinas Robotic Club coaches were – Matt Stalder, Danny Garcia, Robert Gates and Cathy Harshman, technology instructor at Aquinas Academy.