Troy elementary school students, left to right, Matthew Gorman, Pratyush Inturi, Vivaan Shah, Nathan Jung and their teen mentor Prabhath Inturi, along with teammate Yuvraj Aalia, not pictured, will be traveling to Houston in April to compete in the FIRST Lego League world championship.

Troy elementary school students, left to right, Matthew Gorman, Pratyush Inturi, Vivaan Shah, Nathan Jung and their teen mentor Prabhath Inturi, along with teammate Yuvraj Aalia, not pictured, will be traveling to Houston in April to compete in the FIRST Lego League world championship.

Photo provided by the Troy School District


Troy ‘Mindstormers’ team qualifies for FIRST Lego League world championship

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published January 14, 2022

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TROY — The Mindstormers Lego League team, consisting of students from Bemis and Costello elementary schools in Troy, is heading to the FIRST Lego League World Championship in April.

The team — which includes Matthew Gorman, Vivaan Shah, Nathan Jung and Yuvrij Aalia from Bemis, and Pratyush Inturi from Costello — participated in the qualifier at Bishop Foley High School in November and won out over 26 other teams to make it to the state championship. The state championship took place at Mason High School, near Lansing, to qualify for the upcoming world championship in Houston.

“We won out of 96 teams (in the state competition),” said coach Venkat Inturi. “They went through their invention process at the competition. They really expressed their interest, and all five showed how they really contributed to the final project and finding solutions to problems. I think that impressed the judges. Their robot design was excellent and really did a good job accomplishing the tasks.”

Teams in the FIRST Lego League are tasked with creating a robot out of Legos that can perform certain tasks and to design a presentation showing off their creation and demonstrating their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math skills.

“Every year they will get a topic where they need to look at something to improve or build,” explained Venkat Inturi. “They will go through a brainstorming process starting in September to come up with ideas. They came up with ideas on how to improve package deliveries in cities.”

Venkat Inturi said the competition is far more than just using Legos to put something new together.

“There are two more aspects: One is robot design and building it so it could complete certain tasks or missions,” he said. “The completion of these tasks are what is done at competitions. They also have to demonstrate core values as a team. This is things like communication or helping others.”

The team members expressed their excitement at making it to the world competition as well as the fun and educational opportunities they were getting through Lego League.

“This has been a very fun experience, and I’m glad I got a chance to be part of this team,” Gorman said in an email. “I think that we made it worlds because of our amazing coach, a lot of effort, teamwork, positivity, and trial and error.”

“The FLL competition is a motivating and inspiring competition that puts emphasis on teamwork and fun,” Shah added in a separate email. “It teaches you how to be a good sport even when you lose and to always try your best. We are very passionate about the innovation project because it will bring environmentally friendly solutions to our community.”

Prabhath Inturi, the teen mentor for the team from Athens High School, said that it was thrilling to see the younger students strive toward a goal and achieve it.

“We were ecstatic to find out that we had advanced to the world championship,” he wrote. “It was a great feeling to know that our hard work from the past five months paid off. Even though the boys faced challenges, their maturity and hard work to handle tough situations was truly inspiring.”

The educators of the five students said they were impressed and proud.

“We are so proud of our students and parents for all of their extra effort, time and commitment,” Jeremey Whan, the principal of Bemis Elementary School, said in an email. “The students have worked very hard to accomplish their goals and we are excited for them to continue on their journey.”

Venkat Inturi said the team will refine its presentation in preparation for the upcoming world competition.

“April 21-23 is the national competition. There will be one team from every state, plus eight more international teams,” he said. “They will be presenting the same project that they have found their own solutions for. They will refine the content and presentation, but it is the same robot design and strategy” that they used in the local and state competitions, he said.

He added that he can’t imagine five other students more deserving of the achievement.

“We were really on cloud nine,” the coach remarked. “I was so proud of the kids. We scheduled a movie day in celebration. We were so happy to see the kids perform so well.”

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