Kudos

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A Lego robot from the 2014 competition.

500 students compete at SPPS Regional First Lego League Tournament
More than 500 students competed Jan. 24, at the SPPS Regional First Lego League Tournament at Washington Technology Magnet School. The competition included 56 teams -- the largest number of teams ever to compete in the Saint Paul tournament. The students attend elementary and middle schools across Saint Paul Public Schools. Seven teams advanced to the Minnesota First Lego League Scientific State Championship, which is set for Saturday, Feb. 7, at Washington Tech. Look for more information next week in The Bridge.

Highland Park students compete in state debate tournament
Students from Washington Technology and Highland Park high schools competed Jan. 16-17 in the Minnesota State High School League’s debate tournament at the University of Minnesota. Highland Park juniors Sam Mulvaney and Kieran Maneely qualified for the state debate tournament for their first time this year. Although they finished the preliminary debates with two wins and three losses -- one win shy of a chance to qualify for the elimination rounds -- they learned a lot, debated well and earned some key wins over some very competitive students from Roseville High School and The Blake School. Mulvaney has been involved in competitive policy debate since he was in eighth grade. Maneely has been involved in competitive policy debate since he was in ninth grade.

Washington Tech students compete in state debate tournament
Four Washington Tech students competed Jan. 16-17 in the Minnesota State High School League’s Debate Tournament at the University of Minnesota. Seniors Kevis Hollins and Dwight Smith qualified for state after placing fourth in the sectional qualifying tournament. Juniors Blu Koffah and Max Landey also competed at the State Debate Tournament after placing third in the sectional qualifying tournament. The Washington Tech debate team coaches are Sarah Wellington and Lucas Smith.

Capitol Hill teacher, Highland student traveling to Normandy for WWII program
A Capitol Hill Magnet teacher and a Highland Park Senior High School student have been selected to travel to Washington D.C. and the Normandy region of France.

Teacher David Howard and student Emma Mulhern will represent Minnesota in June on the trip for the 2015 Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student and Teacher Institute. The program aims to immerse 15 students and teachers from across the United States and Guam in the history of the Normandy Invasion and the service members who gave their lives.

For the program, which is organized by the National History Day (NDH), students must complete selected readings, review video interviews with veterans, engage in online discussions with the other participants and research a local silent hero, according to the program. Students also will make presentations about the Normandy Campaign.

Emma’s project focuses on a Minnesota soldier who died 71 years ago, said her mother Linda Mulhern. Emma has interviewed the soldier’s family and classmate. Last year, a website Emma created about a distant relative buried at Normandy was archived at the World War II museum in New Orleans. A second website she created also will be archived there.

“This is National History Day’s fifth year running the Normandy program,” said NHD Executive Director Cathy Gorn. “We are very fortunate to be able to provide this life-changing educational opportunity to students.”