Twelve Aurora students recently competed in the FIRST Lego League state championship tournament held Feb 1 and 2 at the Nutter Center at Wright State University in Dayton. Ten percent of Ohio’s 600 teams advanced to this tournament for students aged 9 to 14.

The two-day event included judging of the teams’ robot designs, a robot challenge game, and a focus on the teams’ "city shaper" projects, which asked students to innovative solutions toward building strong cities.

The Big Bad Brick Builders, comprised of Leighton fifth graders Benjamin Keckan, Graham Nagy, Soham Shah, Brady Stenger, Jack Trook and fourth grader Elijah Smith, had previously earned the innovation award at the district tournament in December and the first place championship award at the regional tournament.

Their project applies RFID technology into construction barrels to promote safe driving through construction zones. Their team is coached by Sameer Shah, Mike Keckan, and Matt Smith.

The Positive Protons, a first-year team comprised of Harmon students Oliver Chang, Santosh Akilesh Kumar, Tharun Kumar, Prabhu Kumar, and Aniket Sen presented their project which involves smart permeable ice melting energy into a road of the future. The Positive Protons were awarded the Judge’s Award at the State tournament. They are coached by Senthil Ragupathi, Patha Sen, and Prabhu Kumar.

Kavya Shah, a Harmon seventh grader, competed on the award-winning Brain Bots team out of Mayfield. The Brain Bots were regional champions in December.

The FIRST organization (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire students’ interest and participation in science and technology.