Lee's Summit Journal

Robotics teams at 3 LS high schools to participate at World Championship competition

R-7 students created their robot to perform precise maneuvers.
R-7 students created their robot to perform precise maneuvers. Courtesy photo

All R-7 high schools going to robotics nationals

Robotics teams at all three Lee’s Summit R-7 high schools have qualified to participate at the World Championship competition, which starts April 17 in Houston.

Last year more than 15,000 students in grades K-12, from 25 states and 42 countries, and their custom-built robots, competed in the event. A second championship will be in Detroit for students from the other 25 states and numerous countries.

In the FIRST robotics program, teams of high school students with adult coaches and mentors design, build and program a robot to complete a specific game challenge. Unlike traditional sports, the rules and objectives of the game challenge change every year.

This year the challenge for FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) teams was “Destination: Deep Space” and the challenge for FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) teams was “Rover Ruckus.” Both required robots to manipulate various game pieces and load them into “cargo ships” in preparation for space travel.

A high percentage of participants in these programs, including more than 90 percent at one school, have gone on to pursue STEM degrees, the district said. The district supports the programs with a robotics build facility, but they receive no operating funds from the school district. Each team must raise its own funds for tournament registration, robot parts, travel expenses and equipment.

She’ll play viola in Australia

Cara Cha, a sophomore at Lee’s Summit High School, will play the viola at the Sydney Opera House in Australia in the summer after being accepted as a finalist for the 2019 High School Honors Performance Series. This is the third consecutive year she has reached that milestone.

In a letter to Cha, Honors Performance Series Program Director Marion Gomez said her acceptance was “a direct result of the talent, dedication and achievements demonstrated in your application.”

The performances will take place from July 31 through Aug. 5.

Assistant Principal of the Year for KC area

Assistant Principal Tim Collins, who has been an assistant principal at Lee’s Summit North High School for six years, is the 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year for the Kansas City region.

The recognition was given by the Greater Kansas City Principals Association.

Before advancing to the assistant principal job, Collins taught social studies at Lee’s Summit North for six years and also coached football and baseball.

LS West advocates earn statewide award

Lee’s Summit West High School seniors Emma Wiese and Brianna Fetz received ACT Missouri’s Outstanding Youth Prevention Awards at the 15th annual Speak Hard Youth Conference last month in Jefferson City.

Both young women participate in the Lee’s Summit CARES Coalition, serving on its Youth Advisory Board and Youth Mental Health and Wellness Task Force.

Lee’s Summit CARES says Weise brings an honest student perspective to the group and helps create programming and events. The Youth Advisory Board recently held a panel discussion with the community to discuss why students are stressed, as well as healthy ways to cope. Weise also has connected some of her friends with the resources they need.

The organization said Fetz “shares her story in a very brave and honest way that has inspired others and will continue to make a positive impact in her community.”

“Brianna, like the rest of our group, wants to encourage students to have healthy coping skills, find ways to bring more awareness for suicide prevention, and reduce the stigma around mental health.”

ACT Missouri is the statewide training and resource center for substance use prevention.

A sweet thank-you

Members of the Blue Springs Freshman Center Student Senate surprised the construction crew at Blue Springs South High School with doughnuts on April 11. Students from northern Lee’s Summit attend Blue Springs South, where work is continuing on improvements funded by a recently approved ballot issue.