NSA plans robotics fundraiser

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s Lego Robotics Club hopes to register enough community support to bring a fundraising film screening to the school next month.

If enough folks pre-register to attend, says educator Bill Sanford, coach for the Upper School team, the movie “SlingShot” will be presented in the NSA cafeteria beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3.

The film focuses on FIRST Lego League founder Dean Kamen — his “fascinating life, and his 15-year quest to solve the world’s water crisis,” according to a promotional blurb.

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It’s described as both a character study and glimpse at Kamen’s vapor compression distiller, from its early development through trials on the African continent.

Tickets for the movie are $10 for adults and $5 for students. A certain amount of tickets need to be sold for the screening to go ahead.

To purchase tickets, visit www.tugg.com/events/12198.

“Hopefully it’s a good movie, and it’s a win-win,” Sanford said. “We make some money for the club, and it’s a good, interesting movie that we enjoy.”

Sanford’s Upper School team was created this year. It competes in the FIRST Tech Challenge.

“We have about 15 students,” ranging from freshman to seniors, Sanford said. “It’s a good mix. We have a number of female students.”

Each year, teams are given a series of tasks their robot must accomplish, Sanford explained. His team plans to build its robot next week.

NSA also has middle and lower school Lego Robotics teams, both of which are reporting successes so far this year.

For the second year in a row, the middle school team won its regional tournament in Norfolk on Saturday, meaning it advances to the state tournament in Harrisonburg on Dec. 6-7.

The Lower School team also advances to the state tournament in Harrisonburg in December, after winning its regional tournament in Hampton.

“The school and parents are quite proud of this new winning tradition at the school, so supporting of the educational STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives sprouting up all over secondary schools,” parent Mark Friedman stated.

Students from different schools may technically compete against one another, but “it’s not a pure, straight competition,” Sanford said.

“They collaborate and help each other,” he said. “Not just members on their team, but students on other teams.”