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Sunshine Academy team state Lego champs

Fifth-graders qualify for World Festival

The TechnoPandas celebrate their first-place finish at the first Lego League state championship. In front, from left, are Advait Amdekar and Sohum Rao. In back are Sedat Akgun, Priya Soneji, Meghana Raj and Aarni Iyer. (click for larger version)
February 17, 2014
ROSWELL, Ga. – A team of fifth-graders from Fulton Sunshine Academy Elementary School were the overall champions at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) state championship in Athens held Feb. 1.

The team also placed first in the performance category at the competition.

"It is indeed a remarkable achievement for a team made up of fifth-grade students to compete alongside eighth-graders and emerge as champions," said Murat Cetin, Fulton Sunshine Academy's principal. "Congratulations to these students and their families who helped the TechnoPandas reach such a goal."

Some 32 teams from elementary and middle schools across the state competed in the statewide competition, each demonstrating a robot in keeping with the competition's theme of "Nature's Fury."

Each team was required to identify a specific severe weather situation and a problem associated with it. The teams then had to come up with an innovative solution to the problem.

The FSA TechnoPanda team's winning entry was a Techno Beat, a neighborhood-scale emergency siren that operates on the emergency radio frequency.

In its research, the team discovered that city sirens often couldn't be heard inside homes. Their solution was to deploy more, smaller devices closer to homes so that they would be more likely to be heard inside.

The TechnoPandas, coached by parent volunteers, consist of Priya Soneji, Sohum Rao, Advait Amdekar, Meghana Raj, Sedat Akgun and Aarni Iyer.

Lego League is a robotics competition held annually in cities around the world and is rapidly gaining popularity in Georgia. More than 500 teams of students ranging from ages 9 to 14 competed in Georgia this year.

The next stop in the team's journey is the Lego League World Festival, held annually in St. Louis at the end of April. This event encompasses all levels of robotics competitions and teams from all over the world.

Fulton Sunshine Academy Elementary School is a tuition-free charter school in Roswell. Its mission is to instill a love of learning in a nurturing environment through engaging and stimulating learning opportunities.

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