by Danielle Fuller, Aditi Seshadri, and Anjana Seshadri
A total of 17 students from Allendale competed in the annual TEAM+S (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science) competition on March 3rd. The 9/10 team and the senior 11/12 team both won first place at this regional competition. For the senior 11/12 team, this win was particularly significant because they toppled 3-year champion McQuaid.
The TEAM+S competition is based on the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. This engineering competition requires students to collaborate, problem-solve, and use analytical thinking to tackle engineering problems. This year’s theme for the competition was “Engineering a Greener World”, and required students to research numerous topics, including the relationship between global health and engineering, sustainable energy, and material strength and durability.
The students broke up into three teams based on grade level, one 9/10 team, with Liza, Luke, Riley, Tom P, and Adrian, and two 11/12 teams with Anjana, Aditi, Danielle, Rotsirohawi, Emily, James, and David D. Students worked together ahead of time to brainstorm and write papers about how they would make a local building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The senior 11/12 team chose to write about Frontier Field, highlighting the growing national movement toward making sports stadiums “greener”, while the 9/10 team chose to write about how to make Allendale Columbia more energy efficient.
On the day of the competition, Saturday, March 3rd, the seventeen students arrived at the FLCC Victor campus for the competition. Most of these students were experienced, as many of the students on the senior team had been competing for five years, but there were also few newcomers. Each team worked separately to complete their multiple choice questions.
Senior Danielle Fuller said that, from her experience, “the most difficult part of the competition is the multiple choice. Because not only is it really math and science based, but a huge portion of your success on the multiple choice section depends on how well your team is able to split up responsibilities during the test, and how well you can work together, because there are 80 questions, all of which are hard.”
After the 90-minute time period for the test was up, the teams moved on to the design/build portion of the competition. During this part of the competition, each team was given a specific amount of materials that had hypothetical costs and a specific amount of time and told to create the tallest tower they could make that was also able to hold up a tennis ball.
“The design/build portion has always been my favorite part,” Aditi Seshadri, a senior, remarked, “because it combines the theoretical knowledge that I have learned in my classes and applies it to real world scenarios that have real world constraints such as time, cost, and resources.”
Her twin sister Anjana Seshadri noted, “I have found the TEAM+S Competition more enjoyable than other competitions because it not only emphasizes the importance of knowing scientific concepts, it also highlights the importance of communication in the fields of science and engineering. Not only are we challenged to use our math and science knowledge to solve difficult multiple choice questions, we also have to utilize our communication, research, and problem solving skills to succeed in the essay and design-build portion of the competition.”
The 9/10 team and the senior 11/12 team both won first place at this regional competition, where only the multiple choice section was scored. For the senior 11/12 team, this win was particularly significant because, for the past three years, a team from McQuaid high school has been the reigning champions in the 11/12 division. The design-build and essay writing portions of the competitions will be used to determine the “Best in State” team in each division. The top three teams in each state and the teams that meet the qualifying score will be invited to compete in the National TEAM+S competition. Historically, students from AC, many of whom are now on the senior team, have participated in the National competition three times, including last year.
Danielle FullerDanielle has attended the Allendale Columbia School since 4th grade. She is currently a senior set to graduate this spring. Danielle has many interests, including math, art, and soccer. Next year, Danielle will be attending New York University (NYU) to study Film & TV production.
Aditi SeshadriAditi is a senior, co-founder, and co-chair of the TEAM+S club. She enjoys science and has participated in the competition for the past five years. She plans on studying Chemical Engineering in college and likes to rock climb and read.
Anjana SeshadriAnjana Seshadri is a senior and the co-founder and co-chair of the TEAM+S Competition Club. She has participated in the TEAM+S competitions for five years and has represented Allendale Columbia in the national competition. She loves all things science and math and plans to study Chemical Engineering in college. She also enjoys skiing and rock climbing outdoors.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Uncategorized, Upper School