RIVERTOWNS, N.Y. -- Five students from the Ardsley School District will compete in the invitation only First LEGO League (FLL) North American Open Championship in May in San Diego, California
The Ardsley team comprises ninth-graders Kruti Sutaria and Laina Patel, eighth-grader Jainil Sutaria, and sixth-graders, Neha Goel, and Isha Brahmbhatt. The team earned a spot at the nationals after competing in a regional competition last month, placing second in the overall and winning first place trophies in two out of the four categories.
Introducing students to real-world engineering challenges, this year’s FLL competition was called the Nature’s Fury Challenge. Students were asked to explore awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and other natural disasters and create an innovative solution that would help communities affected prepare, stay safe or rebuild.
The students were judged in three areas: robot design and performance, identification of a real world problem, creation of innovative solution and sharing their research; core values associated with working and collaborating as a team.
“We looked into many different problems and finally settled on earthquakes and how to help communities be better prepared for such an event,” said Kruti Sutaria. “We thought that if we could better predict when and where earthquakes would occur, communities could take action sooner and be safer.”
The team worked very independently and met almost every Friday night for three hours. “Every meeting, the time seemed to go so fast because it was just fun – working as a team and motivating each other – it’s the core values,“ said Kruti.
The team was supported by their parents and school community. The team sought the help of Rajat Goel, Neha’s father, who was the team’s coach, and the guidance of two Ardsley teachers. David Chason, science curriculum leader in Ardsley High School, guided the students on how piezoelectric sensors could be used along the geologic faults to predict future earthquakes.
The Ardsley team, which achieved the highest Robot Performance score ever in the Hudson Valley, will compete against 76 other teams from throughout the country.