Fifth Graders Win Sportsmanship at VEX-IQ World Championships

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Updated May 4th, 2018

On Saturday, April 28th, Allendale Columbia School fifth graders Eric Roof and Carter Previte left to go to the VEX IQ Robotic World Championship Competition, Elementary School Division, in Louisville, Kentucky. They came back on May 2nd having won one of four coveted divisional Sportsmanship Awards out of 400 teams participating! (more…)

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in: Fifth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Students, Sorrentino Shine at Digital Rochester’s Women in Technology Breakfast

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Women are increasingly studying technology and moving into technology careers. Local organization Digital Rochester and their Women in Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) recognized several local women at a breakfast on April 26th, including Allendale Columbia’s Director of Lower School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Sue Sorrentino as a nominee for their 20th annual Technology Woman of the Year award.

At the event, five young women from AC also received a lot of attention. Fifth graders Victoria Timpani, Ella Herberger, and Maya Sams and talked about their all-girl VEX-IQ Robotics team Girls With Gears, while Liza ’20 and Mary ’22 Cotter showcased robots used in FIRST LEGO League and FTC Robotics competitions and discussed their technology learning and experiences. Their tables were crowded with attendees from large and small businesses in the Rochester area interested in their technological savviness.

Sue Sorrentino left a career in corporate engineering to address the urgency of building STEM fluency in early elementary age children to build and sustain interest in STEM through middle and high school. She and her team at Vista Teach Instructional Services, a company she founded and serves as Executive Director, have developed comprehensive programs in engineering education and optics for grades K-8, both in school and in after-school and summer programs, primarily at AC but also available to other schools. She has trained hundreds of robotics coaches throughout the Greater Rochester Area.

Sorrentino is in great company, as other nominees for the Technology Woman of the Year and Emerging Technology Professional Woman of the Year included women from such organizations as Rochester Regional Health, ITX, Harris Corporation, Datto, Constellation Brands, CloudCheckr, Luminate, KLDiscovery, University of Rochester, RIT, MCC, and Girl Discover It.

Digital Rochester provides events and community services to strengthen and grow the region’s technology community through education and relationship development.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

AC Teams Get Trophies at VEX State Championships

Posted on March 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

On Sunday, March 4th, 2018, Allendale Columbia Schools hosted the Northern New York State VEX IQ Robotic Championships. Fourteen teams, with team members ranging in age from grade 4 to grade 8, from across Upstate New York participated. Ten trophies were presented at this robotics competition and the Allendale Columbia Lower School teams took home four of them.


Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches

AC Teams Win Awards at VEX Robotics Qualifiers

Posted on February 1st, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Three of Allendale Columbia School’s 5th grade Robotics teams advanced to the Northern New York State Championship in the VEX-IQ Challenge Qualifier on Saturday, January 27th, in Buffalo. They also brought home several awards, for a total of eight awards for 5th grade teams over just the past three years.


Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches

AC Aces Robotics Team Featured as 13WHAM Bright Spot

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

13WHAM logo

Bright Spot: AC Aces

Channel 13 WHAM featured the AC Aces robotics team on their Bright Spot on January 23rd. The Aces placed second in the Excelsior District Finals, earned the Finalist Team Alliance Trophy, and was a finalist for the Promote Video Award.

(You can read more about the AC Aces in the blog post AC Aces Make Finals at Excelsior Championships by team member Matt Duver ’20.)

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in: AC in the News, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

AC Aces Make Finals at Excelsior Championships

Posted on January 18th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Matt Duver ’20

The Upper School Robotics team’s season came to a very successful finish this past weekend with the Excelsior Region FIRST Tech Challenge Championships at SUNY Polytechnic in Utica. There were 24 teams from all over Western, Southwestern, and Central New York, and our team, the AC Aces, earned the right to compete by being the alliance winners from the Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Tech Challenge competition at St. John Fisher this past December.

In Utica, the AC Aces exceeded expectations and made it to the final match in an alliance with two other schools. Even though we did not win, we received two recognitions – the Finalist Team Alliance trophy, and a finalist for the Promote Video Award, where we made a 60-minute PSA to share with the world what we wanted people to know about FIRST Robotics Competitions. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”, and this is the second year that Allendale Columbia has had an FTC Team. After this past championship performance, the AC Aces ranked 368th out of 4,600 team performances on This is quite an accomplishment for a second year team, and we are all proud and grateful to our coaches (Dr. Jeff Lawlis, Mr. Andrew Perry, Mr. James Cotter, Ms. Maya Crosby, and Mr. Artie Cruz), sponsors (Sikorsky – A Lockheed Martin CompanyArconic, and ASP & Associates, Inc.), and Allendale Columbia School for helping us along the way.  (more…)

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Building and Programming Interactive Structures in Second Grade

Posted on May 13th, 2015 by ssorrentino

Second grade S.T.E.M. students at Allendale Columbia School have been designing and building interactive structures and smart robots programmed with sensors and actuators. In this real world context, students learn engineering principles and professional practices along with the correct vocabulary, terminology, and functionality of all physical elements and electronic components. For instance, students systematically learn about the different types of gears (8, 24, or 40-tooth/spur gears, crown gears, worm gears, etc.) and how they can function as driver, follower, or idler gears.

Our young students successfully learn to program If-Then, Wait-For, and Repeat Statements as they individually build and program physical models for completing our systematic and comprehensive Project-Based Learning (PBL) Tasks as they comment on all coding and share out problem-solving, design thinking, debugging, and strategic innovation.

Students self-initiate collaboration and teaming/cross-teaming to further develop 21st century skills throughout our comprehensive robotics and engineering unit. Now in their third year in our S.T.E.M. programs, our young, second grade students quickly and easily grasp complex building and programming concepts – demonstrating the remarkable results of providing a systematic continuum of real world, engineering education beginning in the early elementary years!


Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, Second Grade

Robotics and Engineering Education – Sharing Instructional Experiences and Results

Posted on February 24th, 2015 by ssorrentino

In the News picfullby Sue Sorrentino and Donna Chaback

As presenters at the 19th Annual Virginia Children’s Engineering Convention – the largest elementary engineering conference for teachers in the country – we thoroughly enjoyed sharing our instructional experiences and student performance results, specifically in robotics and engineering education, as S.T.E.M. teachers at AC. Our focus was on the transformative impact of robotics as well as developing a K–5 continuum of real world, engineering education with robotics.

We enjoyed sharing highlights of our instructional techniques and teaching pedagogy and providing a systematic and comprehensive approach to developing S.T.E.M. fluency and strategic innovation. We also provided demonstrations of the project-based learning (PBL) tasks our S.T.E.M. team has developed, re-purposing robotics systems and electronic components for designing interactive structures and smart robots programmed with sensors and actuators.  Throughout our presentation, we also shared the remarkable results of our Lower School students who are in their third year of our robotics and engineering classes and are successfully being introduced to higher-level robotics and engineering systems typically taught at the Middle and even High School levels. As we also shared, our students at AC keep us, their S.T.E.M. teachers, challenged to continually develop new and innovative learning experiences in real world, robotics and engineering education!

We have also been invited to present on our S.T.E.M. students’ real world robotics and engineering learning experiences at two upcoming conferences within the next several weeks: the New York State Technology and Engineering Educator’s Association Annual Conference as well as for the Science Teachers Association of New York State Spring into Science with S.T.E.M. Conference.

Our AC S.T.E.M. students truly make us proud!

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade