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North Adams Team Wins 18th Annual Robotics Challenge
11:39AM / Monday, March 27, 2017
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More than 180 students participated in the 18th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge in Lenox on March 25.

North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) won the Berkshire Robotics Challenge. Back row: Aidan Roberts, Brian Czarnecki, Thayne Carlo. Middle row: Sean Mullen, J.T. Mullen, Nicholas Lescarbeau, Owen Vareschi. Front row: Coach Nathan Samson.

LENOX, Mass. — North Adams 4-H Students Winning at Technology (SWAT) defeated Herberg High Brain Power (HBP) from Herberg Middle School in Pittsfield, 79-65, in the finals to win the championship of "Animal Allies," the 18th annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge, conducted Saturday, March 25, at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

The competition involved 26 Berkshire County teams comprising more than 180 students ages 8 to 14 using programmable robots built from LEGO kits to complete a variety of missions involving hypothetical scenarios that focused on improving interactions between people and animals. The event was sponsored by Berkshire Community College and the Berkshire Innovation Center, with major underwriting support from SABIC, The Feigenbaum Foundation and General Dynamics Mission Systems.

Nathan Samson was the coach for North Adams 4-H SWAT (sponsored by Berkshire 4-H, CW Construction and North Adams Commons), which featured team members Thayne Carlo, Brian Czarnecki, Nick Lescarbeau, J.T. Mullen, Sean Mullen, Aidan Roberts and Owen Vareschi.

Wendy Stebbins and Ellen Lantz were coaches for Herberg HBP (sponsored by General Dynamics Mission Systems and Herberg Middle School), which featured team members Hannah Wheeler, Nathan Cracolici, Jack Wildgoose, Asa Chard, Jack Archey, Liam Chalfonte, Tyler Vosburgh and Alex Allessio.

Other award winners were:

* Semifinalist:
St. Agnes Robotechs (St. Agnes Academy)

* Semifinalist: Kontrolled Kaos II (Adams-Cheshire Regional School District)

* Sportsmanship & Team Spirit: Williams Wizard Bees (Williams Elementary School)

* Best Mechanical Design: North Adams 4-H SWAT (Berkshire County 4-H)

* Most Innovative Design: Nexus Builders (Berkshire Christian School)

* Best Programming: Forever LEGO Lovers (Berkshire Christian Homeschool)

* Comeback Kids: Forever LEGO Lovers (Berkshire Christian Homeschool)

* Rookie Team of the Year: Team Boys and Girls Club (Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires)

* Best Research Project: Kontrolled Kaos II (Adams-Cheshire Regional School District)

The planning committee included Wil Bourdon and James Chalfonte of General Dynamics Mission Systems, Dorothy DeBella of Webster Electric, attorney Lee Flournoy, Jon Friedman of Craneville Elementary, Denise Johns of Berkshire Community College, Bernie Klem of Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, and Kevin Mooney of GE. Judges, inspectors and referees for the event were Jon Friedman, David Owen, Greg Owen, John Bracci, Wil Bourdon, Kevin Mooney and Liam Mooney. Dick Lindsay of the Berkshire Eagle was master of ceremonies.

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