Sharon Robotics Teams Advance to World Championship Events

SHARON, Pa. – Two Sharon Tiger Techs robotics teams have earned the opportunity to compete against the highest performing robotics teams from around the world. 

The two teams, consisting of students in fourth through eighth grades, competed against 28 other teams Saturday at the Northwest Pennsylvania FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship at Penn State Behrend in Erie. 

Sharon Tiger Techs Team Black received the highest honors with the overall Champion’s Award and a first place Robot Performance Award and advanced to the FIRST World Championship in Houston Texas in April. Sharon Tiger Techs Team Orange received a second place Champion’s Award and a second place Robot Performance Award and advanced to the Razorback International Open at the University of Arkansas in May.

Over the past six months, the teams have designed, built and programmed LEGO EV3 Mindstorm robots to compete on a thematic playing field. The theme for this season, “Super Powered,” provided the teams the challenge of programming a robot autonomously for 2 ½ minutes to complete tasks related to the theme of energy. A few tasks involved the robot’s collecting energy units from an oil refinery and a wind turbine, and collecting water units from a hydroelectric dam. The robot then had to transfer the energy and water units to other locations on the field. Robots had to complete 15 missions on the playing field. 

Sharon Tiger Techs Team Orange members Jasper Stanisky and Henry Nowinski prepare to launch their robot on the playing field.

The teams also developed innovative project solutions to energy problems.  

To solve the problem of too much strain on the energy grid, Tiger Techs Team Black developed Super Power Pack, a battery inverter intended for a commercial setting. The pack charges during off-peak hours to provide cheaper energy during peak hours. The project enlisted guest speakers, made multiple trips and received feedback from several area businesses, including Penn Northwest Development Corp. The students visited with several electrical contractors from Sharon and Pittsburgh to create a working prototype.   

Tiger Techs Team Orange developed Park ‘N Charge, a wireless electric vehicle charger. The students spoke with multiple guest speakers and received feedback from local officials from the cities of Hermitage and Sharon. 

In addition to their projects, the teams have hosted multiple robotics camps for children in kindergarten through eighth grade, provided Girl Scout robotics badge training and traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in a robotics advocacy conference.

Pictured at top: The Sharon Tiger Techs robotics teams. Bottom row: Logan Patek, Leah Crytzer, J.J. Litman, Sophie Nespor, Ian Connelly, Olivia Totin and Camille Klaric; middle row: Jacob Prelerson, Vincent Calla, Kate Powell, Naima Allen, Jasper Stanisky, Matthew Schimp and Henry Nowinski; back row: Trigg McMahon, Ben Fiscus, Alex Stephenson and Tony Gaggini.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.