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20 school districts compete in annual Tech Wars

by jmaloni
Fri, Jan 27th 2012 05:25 pm
A view of the Tech Wars tables and battle arena at Niagara County Community College.
A view of the Tech Wars tables and battle arena at Niagara County Community College.
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by Andrew Slattery

On Jan. 13, Niagara County Community College hosted Tech Wars 2012, a multi-district technology competition for middle and high school students. Twenty school districts competed in events such as mousetrap cars, Sumo-Bots, and CO2 car racing. In attendance were about 300 students, teachers, and spectators.

 Overall, everyone who participated had an enjoyable experience.

"Tech Wars is a fun time to compete with other people at other schools," said Matt Dewes, a competitor from Clarence High School.

The mousetrap car event was a competition based on wooden cars powered by mousetraps, to see which one had the greatest distance. Charlie Zabaldo, an eighth-grader from Edward Town Middle School and also the winner of the mousetrap car competition, was very excited about coming to Tech Wars.

"It was exciting to talk to other students in the competition," he said. "I also got to see what I will be doing when I get to high school."

Zabaldo also said he looks forward to going to future Tech Wars competitions.

The Sumo-Bot competition was one of the most exciting events taking place at Tech Wars. In this competition, students build remote-controlled robots that fight to push other robots off of the playing field. The winners of the Sumo-Bot competition were Grand Island seniors Michael FitzGerald and Tom Grenke. "It took three and a half months to build," said FitzGerald. "It took so long because if something was off even 1/8 of an inch, we would rebuild the whole section."

Tech Wars 2012 was a fun experience for all in attendance. The competitive spirit was present, but so was good sportsmanship. Throughout the day, students cheered each other on and gave advice to other competitors. This annual event is very important to the kids who are interested in the field of technology. It gives them a chance to show off their innovative spirit and architectural skills.

Final results showed Grand Island High School in first place for the high school division and Lockport first for the middle schools. In addition to Zabaldo's first-place finish in mousetrap cars for Edward Town, Niagara-Wheatfield High School's Mike Filler, Cody Baio, David Seleuchuk, Justin Wasmund and Alec Scalzo came in third in the Vex robotic game and Dave Dobmeier came in second for heavyweight sumo robots.

Andrew Slattery is an eighth-grader at Edward Town Middle School.

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