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Jarvis to host FIRST LEGO League tournament on January 13

On Sunday, Jan. 15, Jarvis Middle School will host the Utica area FIRST® LEGO® League qualifying tournament. The event takes place 7 a.m.-4 p.m. at Central Valley Academy and is open to the public. This year’s theme is “Into Orbit,” a study of space exploration. Winning teams move on to the regional competition at SUNY Poly March 13-16.

Velcro Masters (Coaches Rachel Mucurio & Deb Rachon)

  • Seth Boyer
  • Mason Childress
  • Anthony Crisino
  • Audreanna Greene
  • Connor Mack
  • Keegan Moss
  • Abigail Paddock
  • Madison Shepherd
  • Christopher Waite
  • Brayden Youngs
  • Austin Tubia (Mentor)

Jarvis Challengers (Coaches Ryan Biamonte & Deb Rachon)

  • Madison Sanchez
  • Dominick Geloso
  • Nick Shedd
  • Shreya Patel
  • Annamarie Lyman
  • Kadence Lyman
  • Julianne Fike
  • Avery Fike
  • Isabella White
  • Austin Tubia

Thunderbots (Coaches Ryan Biamonte & Deb Rachon)

  • Maggie Bray
  • Vincenzo Geloso
  • Miles Hoyt
  • Reese Judd
  • Liam Maxson
  • Grace Lally
  • Richard Savarese
  • Fiona Stewart

“The theme is especially relevant to us,” said Jarvis Principal Charlie Pratt.

“First, our school is named after our alumnus and astronaut Gregory B. Jarvis who died tragically in the Challenger explosion. Second, our LEGO teams will help lead a ceremony to dedicate a new Jarvis display in the Herkimer County Office Building later this spring.”

FLL challenges 9-14 year-old students to work together to research, strategize and present solutions to real-world challenges.

The focal point of the competition is the Robot Game. Teams build and program LEGO robots that travel through a course, completing 15 predescribed challenges. The team whose robot maneuvers the course and completes the tasks in the shortest time wins that portion.

But the competition is much more. Students must also attack the project mission. This year’s Into Orbit asks students to identify a physical or social problem faced by humans during long duration space exploration and to design a solution to that problem. The students must build a display that shares the problem/solution and present their ideas to a panel of judges.

One Jarvis team advanced to the regional tournament and the national tournament last year. Most of that team now makes up the Jarvis Challengers. Their experience winning locally and seeing the caliber of competition at the nationals has them excited at their prospects this year.

For the first time, Central Valley is sporting FIRST LEGO League Jr. teams, made up of students age 6-10. Coach Emilie Bell will bring several Barringer Road teams to the tournament. They will present their projects, but will not compete until the Mission Moon junior tournament at SUNY Poly on March 16.

“We are excited to see our LEGO League program grow,” said Superintendent Jeremy Rich.

“The program challenges our students to collaborate, research, problem-solve, and share their ideas. These are skills they will need regardless of the career paths they choose in their futures.”