Photo Gallery: Berkshires Robotics Challenge in Lenox


LENOX -- For the third consecutive year, a Pittsfield team has captured the annual Berkshire Robotics Challenge.

The Herberg Hurricanes, from Herberg Middle School, defeated Trouble By Design of Egremont Elementary School in Pittsfield, 126-103, on Saturday. Herberg's victory follows back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 by the Allendale neighborhood team, Lots of Legos.

Coached by Wendy Stebbins and Ellen Lantz, the Herberg Hurricanes featured students Adam Shepardson, Andrew Callahan, Chenyang Lin, Jacob Soldato, Dinari Murdaugh, Brian Lavinio, and Hunter Street.

They were among the nearly 250 elementary and middle-school youngsters on 31 teams from 22 local public and private schools who competed at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

After three rounds, the eight teams with the highest cumulative point total of their best two rounds, advanced to the championship bracket. The teams were seeded like a basketball tournament with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

The 15th annual competition involved students using computerized robots to perform certain tasks on a 4-by-8 foot game board. Each task, represented by a game piece, was assigned a point value based on a degree of difficulty. The robots and game pieces are built from advance LEGO kits purchased by the teams through their individual sponsors.

This year's theme was "Nature's Fury," involving 17 tasks that represented how government agencies, emergency responder, utility companies and the general public respond to natural disasters.