FHS robotics part of No. 3 world finish

Farragut 3140 Flagship Robotics team, wearing dark blue T-shirts, pose for a picture with the Hardin Valley Academy team, center, and the Oak Ridge High School team, right, after a world robotic competition in Texas. All three teams earned their way to the contest, and when the time came to choose teams from which to align, they chose to form a Knox are alliance with a California team.
The Farragut High School robotics team traveled to cowboy country, Texas, a few weeks ago. They didn’t win the rodeo, but they roped a big one anyway.

“We had a great time and we learned so much,” said Jane Skinner, FHS science teacher who co-sponsors the team with Aundrea Mitchell, engineering teacher.

Farragut’s team, “Flagship 3140,” traveled to the Lone Star state April 19-22, where the team competed in one of two FIRST Robotics World Championships, Skinner said. In Houston, Farragut aligned with three other teams to claim third in their division while earning Best Pilot, Best Air Ship and second place on Fuel Fashion, said parent mentor, Cathy Simes.

About 400 teams, including teams from Israel, Turkey, Canada, Australia, China, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, gathered at the George R. Brown Convention Center to fight it out for the title of world champion. There were six fields and about 70 teams in each field, Skinner said.

Hayden Allen, a senior, has been on the team for three years and was one of about 30 students on the trip.

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FHS seniors awards pinpoint excellence

Each department at Farragut High School selects two seniors each year who have exemplified excellence and enthusiasm and awards them with a certificate. This year’s Senior Class Recognition program was held Monday, May 8. In addition, scholarships from local community partners were announced. Here, Salutatorian Ameena Iqbal, left, double department winner Lauren Fiet, center, and Valedictorian Lily Gao pose for a picture on a bench outside the auditorium after the ceremony.
“Seniors at Farragut High School have accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of scholarships this year, so many in fact, it would take about 10 hours to present all the awards,” Susan Bolinger, FHS college and career counselor, said.

But in addition to scholarships, some Class of 2017 seniors have received an additional honor — a monetary award from a local business or special recognition from a department at the school. Each department at FHS was asked to nominate two seniors for excellence in their academic areas and on Monday, May 8, students, parents and staff gathered in Vickiet B. Wells Auditorium where a representative of each department went to the podium to present certificates to the chosen students.

“The seniors truly represent outstanding achievements in their departments,” Bolinger said.

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SJN sixth-graders nab top honors at regional science competition

Brett Shaffer, science teacher at St. John Neumann Catholic School, took 12 middle school students to the University of Tennessee to compete in the 23-county Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair for sixth- through eighth-graders. Two of his sixth-graders — Tina Fanelli and Dmitri Kalinin — came home with the top two honors. From left to right are Brett Shaffer, Kate Pettinger, Tina Fanelli, Ellen Falvey, Audrey Weaver, and Dmitri Kalinin.
Maria Augustina “Tina” Fanelli rattled some pots and pans to bring home the most prestigious trophy and $200 to line her pockets.

The St. John Neumann Catholic School sixth-grader was named Junior Division Grand Champion, the top winner in her division, at this year’s Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair held at The University of Tennessee March 27-30.

Science teacher Brett Shaffer takes students to the fair each year, but for the first time the top two spots in the junior division for grades six through eight were claimed by SJN students.

“It’s very unusual for two sixth-graders to do so well,” Shaffer said. “We have won other awards in the past, but we’ve never won both the top two positions before. Five of our kids took first place in their sections. From those blue ribbons, the judges agreed on the grand champion and the reserve champion.”

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