The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

February 7, 2013

Grand River Academy students test technology skills at Vex competition

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — Crashing, banging and the tearing of metal typically jump to mind as sounds one would hear at a robot competition. Or perhaps visual cerebration of large metallic animate objects of different shapes and sizes dueling or wrestling in an attempt to take home the trophy. However, the Grand River Academy students of this competition did not build any transformer-like machines from movies. These were real robots.

The simple, one armed machines were far from making millions at the box office, but the competition lacked no excitement. This gathering of robotic mastery, held in Marion, is called the TRECA Vex National Qualifier. The winner of the overall competition would qualify for the Vex World Championship and the U.S. National Championship. Teams were assigned to buckets with the task of collecting as many small bean bags as possible in the allotted time, with points being awarded based on number collected and style.

The Grand River Academy “Flying Circuits” Team outright won two of the rounds, and only lost by close margins otherwise, however only managed 32nd place in the competition. The team constituted five students and one supervising adult from Grand River. Seva Dorn, founder of the team, was actually the youngest member, a junior from Cleveland. Led by chemistry teacher and dorm parent Al Kovacik, seniors Justin Evans, Diego Moreno and Justin Hoffman also attended; however unfortunately the main programmer, Richard Fletcher was unable to attend in person because of the flu.

Despite not qualifying for the Vex World Championship, the team believes their first competition together was entirely successful.

Senior Diego Moreno said, “Robotics club is a good way to test our skills in productive cooperation and programming. It is a good activity for students who want to pursue a career in technology. It was a lot of fun creating our own robot and then competing with it against other schools. Even though we didn’t do so well in the rankings, it was a great learning experience for our team. We are now prepared and excited for our upcoming competitions, and we hope Richard will be healthy enough to join us.”

The team is geared up for their next challenge in early spring, and with their first competition banked, they are hoping to bring home a trophy soon.

Text Only
School Columnists
  • Edgewood High School Edgewood prepares for new academy-style classes

    As April rolls around, Edgewood is putting on more fantastic events.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Geneva High School GHS stuents share talents, tackle tough issues

    Geneva’s got talent! Need proof of that? The ninth annual Geneva High School Talent Show will be held at 7 p.m. April 22 in the high school auditorium. Anonymous judges in the audience will choose first, second, and third places from the solo and group acts, and the audience will get to choose their favorite. All winners will receive a prize.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand Valley High School Project Princess makes prom a possibility

    As prom season approaches, many teenage girls are in the pursuit of finding the perfect dress. However, sometimes the “perfect dress” can have an overwhelming price tag.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Conneaut High School Conneaut celebrates the magic of Disney

    Before Conneaut students’ spring break, the high school choir and band members opened up the wonderful world of Disney to their audience.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jefferson Area High School JAHS band earns superior score at district contest

    After months of hard work, preparation and practice, the Jefferson Area High School Symphonic Band achieved their goal – the honor of receiving a Superior score of “I” at district contest which was held March 14 at Howland High School. Not only did the band receive a composite score of I, but they received a I from each of the four judges at contest. The phenomenal feat of receiving straight ones at contest has not occurred in at least three decades according to the available files at JHS, which date back to 1984.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand River Academy Ski trip makes the most of hard winter

    This winter has been hard. It's been hard on the roads and residents who have had to stay indoors.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeside High School Tournaments boost school-spirit

    The competitive nature of the Lakeside High School community is alive and well this spring, with the excitement of the annual class tournaments. The two-day event which took place March 27 and 28, pits grade levels against one another in a healthy battle for pride and bragging rights. These activities have been a tradition at the school since its inception in 2007, and even find their roots at Harbor High School long before. Planned and orchestrated by the Student Council, the tournaments are a definite way to boost morale throughout the school community.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pymatuning Valley High School PVHS making a difference

    Many obstacles appear every day in life, and Pymatuning Valley students are volunteering much time in order to help ease the burdens of others. Throughout the month of March and continuing Pymatuning Valley students are playing an active role in fund raising for local families. This has already taken place through a benefit dinner, Blackout Dance and Middle School Spirit Week. PV students are gearing up for the PV Laker Mini Relay For Life and the annual Ride 4 thEm event.

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • A-Tech A-Tech student from Hungary preparing to become U.S. citizen

    Melinda Lastyak is a senior in the graphic communications program at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus and a former student of Jefferson Area Local Schools. What makes her interesting is that she is actually an immigrant from Hungary. Lastyak moved with her mother to the United States in 2008. She was born and raised in downtown Budapest.

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • St. John School St. John drama club to stage 'Bye Bye Birdie'

    It has been a big year for St. John’s drama club, from a sold out play last spring, to new curtains and now preparing for their quickly approaching musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video