LARCHMONT, N. Y. -- Larchmont's Hommocks Middle School Roaring Robots team captured first place in a recent competition for its "Write Again" project, which focused on putting old pencils back into use.
The team took top honors at the Feb. 6 Hudson Valley First Lego League Robotics Competition in LaGrangeville. The First Lego League is a worldwide contest for students to compete in robot programming, themed projects and team sportsmanship, school officials said.
Students at Hommocks Middle School consulted with school officials and head custodian Michael Gajda before designing and engineering a dispenser for discarded pencils. Any pencils found during school cleaning are collected, cleaned and placed in the dispenser, school officials said.
"It was fascinating to watch this project grow from searching for a need to a concrete idea to an actual machine," said Seth Weitzman, Hommocks principal.
Any leftover pencils will be donated to schoolchildren in Kenya this June, school officials said.
The team is sponsored by the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck, a nonprofit organization organizing STEM programs in the area. For more on the group, visit its website .
The team was coached by STEM Alliance volunteer Jill Bock and Stefan Birek, eighth-grade science teacher, and Eliza Cattau, high school mentor. For more, visit the school district website .
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