UPTON, Mass. ‒ Four students from Shrewsbury and Northborough defeated 58 other teams to win the first Knights of the Lego Table tournament Nov. 17 at Blackstone Valley Technical School in Upton.
Members of the winning team are: Scott Sheffield of Northborough, a ninth grader at the Advanced Math and Science Academy (AMSA); Alden Vedder of Shrewsbury, an eighth grader at AMSA; Zarius Dubash of Shrewsbury, an eighth grader at AMSA; and Linus Adler of Shrewsbury, a fourth grader at Patton Elementary School. The team is coached by John Vedder of Shrewsbury, who is in his sixth year of coaching.
The theme to this year's challenge was Senior Solutions. Each team worked with a senior citizen partner and other experts to identify a problem seniors face and create an innovative solution using a Lego robot.
The team focused on the problem of poor memory resulting in food spoiling because it is left in the refrigerator too long. Ingesting spoiled food can cause food poisoning. The team developed an automatic timer that can be placed on food containers to display how many days the item has been in the refrigerator.
The timer starts automatically when it detects a temperature drop and can also indicate if an item has been left out too long. The Knights built a working prototype using a microcontroller, thermistor and LCD display.
After receiving the trophy, Linus Adler stated, “Winning the Champions award did not seem real.
“It was really exciting," Alden Vedder added.
The Knights will compete in the Massachusetts State Championship Tournament on Dec. 15 with 83 other teams. They will continue to meet three times a week as they prepare for the state tournament.