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Junior High Kids Design Bird-Friendly Building Shell

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Cincinnati students who designed this visable building shell for birds with a sustainable roof are headed to the world competition in April.

For the first time in a decade a local LEGO league team has advanced to the World Tournament and will compete in St. Louis from April 26-29.

Teams were charged with finding ways to improve interactions between people and animals in a series of events that initially involved building robots with LEGOs.

The "Scientific Touch" team represented by 7th and 8th graders from the Lakota, Mason, and Sycamore Districts as well as Bethany School, built a prototype to show five different ways buildings can be re-engineered to avoid bird collisions while creating energy-efficient savings for building owners.

The Team

  • Ryan Cheng-Lakota
  • Samiksha Murkherjee-Lakota
  • Sudiksha Murkherjee-Lakota
  • Esha Reddy-Mason
  • Jude Saddler-Lakota
  • Arushi Sharma-Sycamore
  • Sam Vessel-Bethany School

The Design

Eighth grader Jude Saddler explains, "We solved this by innovating a building in New York (UNICEF) to make it wildlife-friendly with designs to allow the birds to see the windows and a green roof to provide a habitat for the birds and also to make it sustainable."

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The team envisioned garden and solar shading on the windows of the UNICEF building in New York City.

Arushi Sharma, an eighth grader from Sycamore, was responsible for cost estimates. She projects the solar panels by themselves would cost $13 million dollars but due to rebates would cost $7 million which could be recouped in ten years. The entire building shell would cost $18 million which owners could get back in twenty years.

Sam Vessel of Bethany School called the project "Innovative, Scientific and Fun," because of the mentoring, research, learning and bonding with teammates.

"Scientific Team" is one of two teams representing Ohio in the World Tournament where more than 40 countries are represented.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.