Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a joyous time to remember those who have passed away. In Mexico, ancient Aztec traditions were combined with Christianity during the Spanish conquest. As a result, each year families construct colorful altars or ofrendas in their homes that essentially welcome the spirit of their loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.
By: Erin Whitaker, Middle School Technology Coordinator
On December 7 and 8, students from the Middle School Robopanthers robotics teams competed in the Western PA FIRST LEGO League Grand Championship tournament hosted by Sewickley Academy.
Over 800 students from around the region formed 85 teams that participated in the event. This year’s challenge, Into Orbit, focused on long term space exploration by astronauts. Students tried to solve a problem faced by humans during space exploration as well as design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 technology to complete missions.
Friday evening consisted of judging sessions for the Robot Design, Project, and Core Values. For the Robot Design session, students demonstrated how their robot worked with the various attachments they created and showed their programming to the judges. For the Project, Team 1 presented on the mental health of astronauts during long-term expeditions and Team 2 presented on the effects of radiation and how to minimize exposure to it. The FIRST Core Values, which consist of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork, and fun, were evaluated during a teamwork activity followed by questions about how the team worked together throughout the season to complete the challenges.
Saturday consisted of four rounds of the Robot Game, which included 15 different space-themed missions a robot has to try and successfully complete in two and a half minutes. Both Sewickley Academy teams were able to improve their score each round. Although the Robopanthers did not take home any trophies, they did place a respectable 24th and 31st out of 50 teams in the scholastic division and have much to be proud of. The Grand Championship marked the conclusion of the season and our students look forward to competing again next year.