The Summit Squared BattleBOTS team, comprising students from Summit Technology Academy, walked away with the top award at the 2018 Bots St. Louis Regional Competition and will advance to the national competition May 18 and 19 in Pennsylvania.
The National Robotics League (also known as BattleBOTS) competition is a gladiator-style battle. High school and college teams design and build their lightweight robots, which compete against each other in 3-minute matches.
At the St. Louis contest, Summit Squared won first place in battles and earned the grand champion award for scoring the highest number of points in all categories. This award was accompanied with a CraftBot 2, a 3-D printer worth about $1,300.
“The team had learned from mistakes that occurred during the KC Regional Tournament and made a second version with various revisions to create a better bot,” team coach Eric Walters said in a news release. “After fundraising the money to travel to the St. Louis competition, BotSTL, they took their new bot to the competition. The revisions were definite improvements, as evidenced by their success.”
The St. Louis competitors included high schools, middle schools and two universities. Summit Squared lost a match to last year’s second-place finisher, Chief, by referees’ decision. The Lee’s Summit team then battled its way through the losers’ bracket to again face the Chief team from St. Charles West High School — and defeated Chief twice in row.
For nationals, the Summit Technology Academy team has been working with its sponsors to create a third design.
The students have organized a GoFundMe page for the trip at www.gofundme.com/8x86u-nationals-trip.
Before- and after-school programs recognized
The Lee’s Summit R-7 Before- and After-School Services (BASS) program was recognized in several ways by the Missouri AfterSchool Network at a statewide conference this spring.
Emily Miller, R-7 assistant superintendent of special services, was recognized as the organization’s Outstanding Administrator. She was among several Missouri school district administrators to be honored.
“Having a supportive administration can really make or break an after-school program,” said a spokesperson for the AfterSchool Network. “These administrators have shown exceptional support for the program and the professionals in their school district and really understand the value that after-school programs bring to their community.”
The BASS 3LYNX middle- and high-school program was named the March Program of the Month, and the Kids Country units at Sunset Valley and Lee’s Summit elementary schools tied for second place in the state Afterschool Works! video contest.
BASS is now enrolling for 2018-19 with rates reduced from this year. For more information, call 816-986-3440 or visit bass.lsr7.org.
Summit Christian Academy spins songs into gold
Vocalists from Summit Christian Academy earned gold medals at the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Solo/Ensemble Festival at the University of Missouri. They are:
▪ Soloists: Senior Alley Brown and freshman Annie Harsch.
▪ Junior/Senior Ensemble Women’s Quartet: Seniors Lucy Kavalesky, Emilie Moyer and Alley Brown along with junior Chloe Nielsen.
▪ Junior/Senior Men’s Ensemble: Seniors Caleb Schumer, Jacob Dixson, Connor Healy and Michael Werner, and junior Blake Roudebush.
In addition, Summit Christian’s Junior High Choir received the top rating of “I” recently at the Midwest Christian School Academic Meet at Blue Ridge Christian School. The group also earned a “I” rating at the Festival of Music at Worlds of Fun and won first place in its division for the seventh straight year.
These junior high students received “I” ratings:
▪ Soloists Jillian Steller, Olivia LeCoque and Olivia Truesdale.
▪ Ensemble members Keyler Quessenberry, Hope Woodall, Navi McFarland, Olivia Truesdale, Katie Coats, Olivia LeCoque, April Phillips, Shea Rider, Jillian Steller, Mattie Tapko, Brooklyn Howard, M’racle Bryant-Morgan, Elizabeth Walden, Chloe Schumer, Marissa Mitchell, Kendall Keegan and Kaitlyn Gregg.
Passing the torch in science
Yes, they’re Lee’s Summit High School students, but over two days in May, they became teachers, too.
It happened through a partnership between the high school and Lee’s Summit Elementary School that allowed the older students to present STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) activities to sixth-graders. The initiative was designed to encourage the younger students to consider engineering or related careers.
Bob Sauer, engineering technology teacher at Lee’s Summit High, and Deanna Soukup, who teaches computer science there, worked with sixth-grade teachers Cheri Beall and Kelly Eames to develop the activities. The high school group visited elementary classrooms on May 7, and the sixth-graders went to Lee’s Summit High School the next day.
The partnership is being funded by a $2,500 grant earned by members of Sauer’s class, who finished as finalists in the Battle of the Brains competition, where the students conceive exhibits for Science City at Union Station.
Summer tech opportunity for eighth-graders
A half-unit credit hour course is available this summer to rising eighth-graders who have an interest in learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.
It’s offered from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. May 31 through June 18 by Summit Technology Academy at the Missouri Innovation Campus building. The course is free for Lee’s Summit R-7 School District students, but space is limited.
The course allows students to explore all programs offered at Summit Technology Academy. For more information about prerequisites or to sign up, visit summerschool.lsr7.org.