St. Mary’s Robotics Team Rolls On!

Mateo Gorrondona, Ryan Rearden & Miko Zolnierczuk prepare for competition

Mateo Gorrondona, Ryan Rearden & Miko Zolnierczuk prepare for competition

St. Mary’s Lego Crusaders competed with twenty-seven other Lego teams on Saturday, December 3, 2016 to qualify to advance to the East Tennessee Championship.  The annual Lego® Challenge requires participants to identify and research a real-world problem, develop and implement a solution, and communicate their results to a panel of judges.   Additionally, the teams are required to design, build, and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® to compete on a table-top playing field.  The teams are judged based on their problem/solution, robot design, adherence to the Lego® Core Values, and performance on the challenge field.
The theme for this year’s Lego® Challenge was Animal Allies.  Teams were required to identify a problem that occurs when people and animals interact.  The St. Mary’s Lego Crusaders created a website (AnimalFAQsNow) to answer questions and present information about close-encounters with three threatened species of reptiles found in East Tennessee.   

Mr. Gorrondona, Ryan Rearden, Miko Zolnierczuk & Mr. Zolnierczuk receive the 3rd Place Award for Robot Design

The team received third place in the Robot Design competition and finished 14th overall in the table-top playing field competition.  The Crusaders advanced to the East Tennessee Championship to be held at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee on February 11, 2017.  The St. Mary’s team members are Mateo Gorrondona, Ryan Rearden, Miko Zolnierczuk, and Ethan Hall.  The team is coached by Mr. Gorrondona with Mr. Zolnierczuk serving as a mentor and Mrs. Miller as the faculty sponsor.  Way to go Lego Crusaders!
Ethan Hall working to program the robot for competition

Ethan Hall working to program the robot for competition


St. Mary’s Competitive Chess Team Continues to Succeed!

Secret City Tournament: Luke Cheadle 1st place, Elliot Barnes 2nd place, Genevieve Robinson 1st place, and Miko Zolnierczuk 4th place

Secret City Tournament: Luke Cheadle, 1st place; Elliot Barnes, 2nd place; Genevieve Robinson, 1st place; and Miko Zolnierczuk, 4th place

St. Mary’s School competed in the Secret City Chess Tournament on Saturday, November 5th at Oak Ridge High School. The tournament hosted 42 teams comprised of 76 students. Both unrated and rated levels included teams from grades K-3, 4-6 and 7-12. Genevieve Robinson, Elliot Barnes and Miko Zolnierczuk competed in the unrated 7-12 division and brought home a 1st place team victory for the second year in a row! Individually, Genevieve Robinson won 1st place, Elliot Barnes earned 2nd place and Miko Zolnierczuk finished 4th competing against 7th-12th graders in their division. Luke Cheadle competed in the unrated 4-6 and won 1st place!
Winter Scholastic Open: Luke Cheadle- 1st place

Winter Scholastic Open: Luke Cheadle- 1st place

St. Mary’s Chess club members continued to demonstrate their skill when they competed in the Winter Scholastic Open in Lenoir City on December 3, 2016. Elliot Barnes and Genevieve Robinson competed in the rated 7-12 division. Luke Cheadle competed in the unrated 4-6 level and placed 1st place overall!
St. Mary’s Students showcased their problem solving, visualization and critical thinking skills in these tournaments. Congratulations to our St. Mary’s Chess Club! Thank you, Coach Teri Wiest, for teaching and refining their skills!

St. Mary’s Student Wins Local VFW Essay Contest

Sessayt. Mary’s School students had the option of participating in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Essay Competition. Conducted nationwide, the Patriot’s Pen is a VFW-sponsored youth essay competition that gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s Patriot’s Pen essay asked students to describe “The America I Believe In….” Students were asked to think hard about the America they believe in and, in 300 – 400 words, articulate what makes our nation unique and great. We are so impressed with the sentiments shared by our students and proudly announce that Genevieve Robinson’s essay won first place. In her essay, Genevieve wrote, “We have a country in which our differences are celebrated instead of discouraged. Our different talents can be utilized to build a better, stronger nation.” Commander Mickey Vickery, U.S. Army Infantry visited Mrs. Sasser’s 7th grade class to present the certificate along with a $100.00 check. Winners from the local competitions are submitted to the district and potentially the national level. Good Luck, Genevieve!