Robotics Team Wins State Championship

On Saturday afternoon around 5:15 p.m., a roar only a group of Panther fans can produce could be heard throughout the gym at the VEX Robotics State Championship. That's because, for the first time ever, our robotics team, or the RoboPanthers as they like to be called, were crowned State Champions.

Team W, consisting of Campbell Jeffrey, Thomas Hohnholt, Addy Carroll, and Summer Vo, was the last team standing in the 42-team tournament, one that included teams from across the state vying for one of the coveted 11 upper school team spots to advance to the World Championship. 

This is the third year an FRA team has advanced to the World Championship, its first time as a State Champion. 

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Lower School Teams Advance to State Destination Imagination Tournament

Two FRA lower school teams advanced to the Destination Imagination State Tournament by winning first place in their divisions in last weekend's Region Tournament. 

Our second grade team - consisting of Ryan Graves, Pax West, Gavin Holley, and Kate Kane - placed first in the Instant Challenge and the Target Technical Challenge, in which team members completed their task by using engineering, research, strategic planning, and related skills. The second grade team is managed by parents Jason Graves and Brooke West. 

The third and fourth grade team - Vince Kane, Locke Teague, Yvie Hamilton, and Cole Thornton - placed first in its Instant Challenge and the Monster Effects Engineering Challenge, where the students designed, built, and tested load-bearing structures created from specific materials. The third and fourth grade team is managed by parents Colleen and Andy Kate.

Both teams will compete in the State Tournament at Spring Hill High School on April 6. 

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DNA Lab Hosts First Classes

Our middle and upper school students now have another state-of-the-art innovative space to work in as we opened the new DNA Lab in our Math and Science Building. Middle and upper school students will utilize the DNA Lab, which will be used as a space where they can hone their skills in biotechnology, including extracting DNA, genetically modified organisms, and ploymerase chain reactions, as well as participate in crime scene investigative methods like DNA fingerprinting. 

Stephanie Feyes, science department chair and biology teacher, is excited to see what impact and influence this space will have on her students. "Biotechnology is currently one of the fastest growing areas of science and industry. It is a skilled based field of science that integrates biology, chemistry, physics, and math in a hands-on, meaningful way. Students are able to do real and original research in a school setting to develop skills that could be used in the future to help make advances in medicine/healthcare, agriculture, industry, and environmental awareness." she said.

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RoboPanthers Win Big; Qualify for State Championships

The middle and upper school robotics teams had a big weekend at the Vex Robotics Tournament in White House, Tennessee. The middle school team, consisting of Ryan Holman, RJ Harding, and Langston Harold, won the Middle School Skills Championship and the Excellence Award. 

Upper school team W, which includes Campbell Jeffrey, Thomas Hohnholt, Addy Carroll, and Summer Vo, was the Upper School Tournament Champion, Upper School Skills Champion, and the Excellence Award winner. Upper School team U, consisting of Garrison Harold, Olivia Maki, Christopher May, and Georgia Austin, was also named Upper School Tournament Champion. 

These three teams join upper school team X, which is made up of Caleb Huddleston, William Roberts, and Alexandra Halas, as qualifiers for the VEX State Championship on March 2. 

Freshman Lily Paris Emcees Stars & Wishes, a Gala for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee

For the second year in a row, FRA freshman Lily Paris has served as an emcee for Stars for Wishes, a fundraising gala for Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee. This year’s gala raised $350,000 to support Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee’s mission of providing wishes to children with critical illnesses, and serving as an emcee gives Lily, a self-proclaimed “talker,” the opportunity to share her story for a charity she loves.

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FRA Students Named Winners in 2019 Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition

Seniors Sabrina LaFaye, Jake Slipkovich, Cathleen Li, and Lee Anna Chen have been recognized for their works submitted in the 2019 Scholastic Art Competition. LaFaye was named as one of the five American Visions Nominees, which is the top honor, and won six Gold Keys, four Silver Keys, and four honorable mentions; Slipkovich won one Gold Key; and Li and Chen were honorable mentions. 

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, and through this competition, nearly 350,000 works of visual art and writing are submitted, with 90,000 being recognized at the regional level. With their Gold and Silver Key awards, LaFaye and Slipkovich will be recognized at Cheekwood's Scholastic Awards Ceremony on February 2 and will have their pieces showcased at Cheekwood's Museum of Art during the Scholastic Art Exhibition.

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Seventh Grader Sloan Kaczynski Becomes Published Author

Sloan Kaczynski has always loved to write. So when the annual writing contest for middle school students came around, the then fifth-grader jumped at the chance to put her ideas to paper. “I always thought expressing myself through writing was a great way to deal with whatever I’m going through, whatever my thoughts are,” she said. Now, two years later, seventh grader Kaczynski is a published writer of The Gold Rush, A Story Filled with Family Love & Personal Perseverance.

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