An Independent School • Grades 5-12
Local and national recognition of Lakeside STEM clubs
Local and national recognition of Lakeside STEM clubs

Lakeside Upper School STEM-related clubs and teams have been earning local and national recognition over the last few months.

The Lakeside Robotics team competed in the Vex Robotics Washington State Championship for the first time in Lakeside history. The team – made up of juniors Tea F., Gireesh M., Kushal K., Nicholas L., James L., and Catherine Z., and 9th graders Gracie L. and Iman O. – finished in first place, which qualifies them for the 2018 Vex Robotics World Championships. The following students were not able to attend the competition, but did contribute significantly to the robot: juniors Ben B., Albert L., Toshihiro N., Bryce T., and sophomore Adi P.

In the Robotics competition, students use the Vex Robotics system to create robots that must complete certain tasks. This year, the robots needed to move around a set area, working with other robots to stack cones. "They spent a lot of time building a great robot, and it paid off," said the team's coach, Amanda O'Neal. "They did an excellent job at competition and represented Lakeside well!"

Earlier in the season, the team sent two groups to the Highland Games VEX Robotics Competition, where Lakeside placed seventh out of 29 teams. In the Toppenish VEX Tournament, the two teams from Lakeside both demonstrated success, with Team B winning the tournament and Team A reaching the quarterfinals and winning the judges' award.

A number of Lakeside students in Middle School and Upper School participated in the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 10 and 12. Through their performance on the AMC, 16 Lakesiders qualified for the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME), placing them in the top 1/20th of the top 1 percent of math students nationwide. The qualifying students are senior Austin W.; juniors Gireesh M., Sanjay R., Carl S., Colin T., Xander U., Timmy W., and Melissa W.; sophomores Patrick J., and Philip L.; 9th graders Charles G., Simon K., Belle P., Patrick P., and Scott W.; and 8th grader Dylan X. The students took AIME in early March; scores will be announced in April.

Members of the Lakeside Upper School math team have distinguished themselves in other ways recently as well. Juniors Colin T. and Carl S. joined other Seattle-area students to compete in the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament. Their team, Washington Gold, finished 8th out of 90 teams. Individually, Colin finished in 7th place, and Carl in 71st place out of 659 competitors. Colin T. '19 also recently competed in the international Romanian Master of Mathematics competition; he was one of four students representing the U.S. Colin won a silver medal for his individual performance, and he helped his team to a first place finish overall.

Four teams from Lakeside Upper School – two novice and two advanced – participated at the 2017 Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers Association (PSCSTA) programming competition. The advanced team composed of Gireesh M. '19, Xander F. '20, and Albert L. '19 came in third. Also in computer science, Anya V. '18 was a winner in the Washington State division of the National Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Winners are selected for their academic history, leadership ability, and plans for post-secondary education. Anya received an honorable mention at the national level.

The Lakeside Science Bowl team recently won second place in the Pacific Northwest Regional Science Bowl. Juniors Timmy W., Sanjay R., Carl S., and Matthew S. competed as a team against 24 teams from around the state, answering questions from the fields of biology, chemistry, earth and space science, energy, mathematics, and physics.

Finally, the Lakeside Chess Team staged an exhilarating comeback at the Washington High School State Team Championship. As the team's advisor Brian Reiser wrote to parents and guardians of team members, "Photo finishes, huge upsets, hour-long delays, moves of genius, blunders, scoring errors, thrown games, and an unprecedented final result were merely some of the attributes of this almost hallucinatory tournament."

Lakeside fielded two teams at the competition. Team B earned a ninth-place finish, after playing the top-seeded team of Newport. As Reiser reported, "the B team was the only team not in the first-place tie that faced one of the obvious top four leaders (Lakeside A, Newport, Garfield, Interlake) and managed to stay within the top 10."

The Lakeside A team, after losing 1.5-3.5 against Newport in the morning, rallied in rounds 4 and 5 against Interlake and Garfield, the other top-ranked teams. Bellevue High School came from behind to take a top position. Round 5, at the end of the tournament, ended with a five-way tie between Lakeside A, Newport, Interlake, Garfield, and Bellevue. This unprecedented situation led to an emergency coaches meeting to decide how to move forward. The decision to celebrate the five-way tie (supported by the Lakeside team, despite the strength of their position going into a potential tie-breaker) ended the tournament with over 25 state co-champions spread over five teams. As a result, Lakeside A ended in first place and regained the title of state champions.