Western Reserve Academy earned two first-place finishes in the Technology Student Association's TEAMS competition in the 2013 regional event Feb. 25 at the University of Akron.
The Grade 11/12 Team A and the Grade 9/10 Team E each finished in first place in division 2. In addition, the Grade 11/12 Team D and Grade 9/10 Team F placed second in the competition.
The first place Grade 11/12 team included seniors Megan Barsella (Hudson), Rebecca Cartellone (Hudson), Bill Feng, Irene Li, Mitesh Mehta, Nick Sovich (Aurora), Bob Wen and Coco Wu.
Cartellone, Feng, Mehta, Sovich, Wen and Wu were all members of the Grade 9/10 that finished first in the nation in 2011.
The first place Grade 9/10 team included sophomores Michael Damato (Hudson), Max Forsyth (Akron), Lexi Hubbel, Irina Kopyeva (Hudson), Barnabas Wang, Jenny Xu and Kevin Yang (Hudson); and freshman Lynn Yang.
Finishing in second place in Grade 11/12 was the team of senior Brandon Sutton; and juniors Eric Chueh, Abigail Griffith, Min Gyo Jung, Diane Ogede and Alex Wheaton.
Finishing in second place in Grade 9/10 was the team of sophomores Rahul Basu (Fairlawn), Sophia Causey (Kent), Bianca Chan (Aurora), Zoe Leciejewski (Hudson) and Vlad Molnar (Hudson); and freshman Maya Gallegos.
The theme of this year's competition was Engineering a Secure Cyberspace. Working in a written competition format, the teams competed in two 90-minute sessions. The first session featured 80 multiple choice questions that required teams to apply their math and science knowledge to novel situations.
The second session presented eight tasks that teams were required to answer in a short-essay format, revealing their problem-solving skills as they explained their engineering solutions.
The teams now move on to the state level, with Best in State awards for the highest-ranking teams in each state to be announced in April. The highest-ranking state teams at each level may compete at the national level in June.
WRA teams earned top honors in the state at the 9/10 grade level in 2012 and at the regional level in 2010, and the Grade 11/12 team was the No. 1 team in its division in 1999.