April 13, 2017 Student-Led Ideation Challenge State Winners Announced

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News Release

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2017

Contact:  Charles B. Pyle, Director of Communications, 804-371-2420

                Julie C. Grimes, Communications Manager, 804-225-2543


EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos of the winning teams are available on the Virginia Department of Education’s Flickr site in the Student-Led Ideation Challenge album.

Student-Led Ideation Challenge State Winners Announced

RICHMOND, Va. –Teams of students from Appomattox County, Loudoun County and Roanoke County earned first-place honors during the inaugural Student-Led Ideation Challenge state championship in Richmond. The event, developed by the Innovative Solutions Consortium in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, offered student teams the chance to explore real-world problems, offer solutions to issues facing educational and agricultural systems or consider challenges related to unmanned aviation vehicles (UAV).

During the April 1 championship at Virginia Commonwealth University, 21 teams from eight school divisions competed in three challenge areas to answer the following questions:

  • Agriculture and Global Warming – How can we encourage and coordinate people around the world to do composting in their yards, in parks, on both active and inactive farmland, etc.?
  • Education – How can we better prepare graduating students for college, career and life?
  • Technology and Robotics – How can we create a light-weight small UAV with “sense and avoid” capabilities so it doesn’t crash into objects?”

The winners for each challenge category are as follows:

  • Agriculture and Global Warming
    • First place – Roanoke County Public Schools, Burton Center for Arts & Technology’s BEAT team consisting of Sean Altice, Lily Flick, Vinay Garimella, and Erik Sharrer, under the leadership of teacher Susheela Shanta.
    • Second place – Loudoun County Public Schools, Academy of Science’s Grassroots team: Aaron Chai, Nat Coombs, Jonathan Kerr, Rassvik Kudam, James Miller and Sara Stephen (Sundar Thirukkurungudi).
    • Third place – Salem Public Schools, Andrew Lewis Middle’s Category 4 team: Georgia Brown, Kantner Eversole, Emily Goodpasture and Kaylin Young (Judith Painter).
  • Education
    • First place – Appomattox County Public Schools, Appomattox High’s Bulb team: Kendra Fett, Nate Simpson and Geoff Zdgiebloski (Rhonda Matthew).
    • Second place – Roanoke County Public Schools, Burton Center for Arts & Technology’s TIER team: Brian McGrath, Austin Meadow and Chase Zegarski (Susheela Shanta).
    • Third place – Chesterfield County Public Schools, L.C. Bird High’s 21st Century Innovators team: Neil Baptiste, Michael Pico, Evan Powell and Eugene Yi (Robert Benway).
  • Technology and Robotics
    • First place – Loudoun County Public Schools, Academy of Science’s AGNI team: Joseph Chang, Michelle Molina, Samuel Ong, Daniel Pham, David Zhang and Josef Zimmerman (Sundar Thirukkurungudi).
    • Second place – Charlottesville Public Schools, Charlottesville High’s AvoidCopter team: Jamie Nachbar, Stephen Newman and Jonah Weissman (Christine Scott).
    • Third place (tie) – Harrisonburg Public Schools, Harrisonburg High’s Wreckless Droning team: Yogesh Aradhey, Tyler Rodriguez and Jacob Urbanski (Andy Jackson); and Prince William County Public Schools, Osbourn Park High’s AirNinja team: Faris Afram, Anthony Crupi and Mohit Sharma (Jennifer Rhawn).

The first-place team in each category earned $3,000 and the opportunity to talk with venture capitalists from Silicon Valley. Second-place and third-place teams received $1,500. All winners will have the opportunity to build their prototypes with support and resources from industry experts and to present those prototypes to interested organizations and industry experts.

The teams that competed in the state championship were selected from the 42 teams from eight schools that participated in two regional competitions held last month at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Additional information about the challenges is available on the VDOE website at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/project-based-learning/slic/index.shtml and http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/project-based-learning/slic/project/index.shtml.

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