Sharon Robotics Teams Advance to World Contests

SHARON, Pa. – Three Sharon Robotics Teams are advancing to world competition events after placing first and second at the Western Pennsylvania FIRST Lego League Championship and first at the Erie FIRST Lego League Championship. 

The Sharon teams  are made up of fourth- to ninth-grade students in the Sharon City School District.  

While at the Pittsburgh championship, Tiger Techs Team Black received the First Place Champions Award.  In addition, West Hill Tiger Techs who competed at the Erie championship captured the First Place Champions Award.  Both Tiger Techs Team Black and West Hill Tiger Techs will both be advancing to World Festival in April, featuring 108 of the best teams from around the world.. 

 In addition, Tiger Techs Team Orange, who competed in Pittsburgh received the Second Place Champions Award advancing them to an international event to be held in May.  The team also received the Global Innovation Award for their research project solution, allowing them to research and develop their handicap parking solution further with possible advancement to the international level.  

The West Hill Tiger Techs celebrate their First Place Champions Award after competing in the Erie FLL Championship.  Pictured from left to right: Aubrianna Vasconi-Perrine, Cody Templeton, Marissa Butler, Marin McLaughlin, and Mia Clemons.  Not in picture: Stella Blair and Alexis Weber.

The theme for this year’s robotics challenge, “City Shaper,” centered on problems associated with cities and is universal in all three components of the competition: robotics, research and core values. In robotics, the team completed missions in  2½ minutes. The mission models relate to cities and buildings. Missions include raising a structure, releasing a supply load from a crane and delivering payloads to specific areas on the competition field using an EV3 Mindstorm Robot.

 In research, the Tiger Techs had the goal to improve a problem in cities.  To assist in their research, the Tiger Techs traveled to New York City in August and reached out to more than 15 experts, including Melissa Phillips, community and economic director for the city of Sharon; Dave Tomko Sr, director of code enforcement, city of Sharon; Geno Rossi, Sharon code officer; John Ackley, local software engineer; state Rep. Mark Longietti and state Sen. Michelle Brooks.  

With the assistance of local experts, Team Black developed a working web app (VLASTA- Vacant Lots Abandoned Spots Tracking App) to track the grass on the properties of abandoned properties and vacant lots in the City of Sharon (; Team Orange developed a handicap parking device (Handi-Parker) that prevents handicap parking placard abuse; and West Hill Tiger Techs plan to develop a website to create awareness of abandoned properties to promote volunteerism. 

Pictured at top: Front row – Camryn Taneri, Ian Fischer, Katelyn Powell, Dani Currie, Tony Gaggini, Matthew Schimp.  Back row – Bodhi Paknis, Lucas Province, Mary Brown, Warren Hackett, Keegan Widmyer, Ben Pollock, Jack Hynes, Kaytlen Moroney, Abbey Baron, Kayden Moroney, and John Stanek.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.