Academics Building Recognition Fifth Grade Center Ladue Middle School Old Bonhomme Elementary Reed Elementary Spoede Elementary Students

Five Ladue Schools Teams Advance to FIRST Lego League Championship

Robotics team poses for a group photo.

Five Ladue teams advanced to the FIRST Lego League Eastern Missouri Championship Tournament at St. Louis Community College in Florissant Valley on Saturday, Jan. 13th. Forty teams from around Missouri advanced to participate in the tournament. Old Bonhomme, Spoede, and Reed each had a fourth grade team led by teachers Tammy MacLean, Kathie Dolan, Carol Kliesen and Karen Engelkenjohn. One FGC team led by parent coach Sherry Wolk and one LMS/FGC team led by coaches Gaurav Suri and Sonali Jain also qualified to participate. Of the five Ladue teams, three teams won awards at the tournament Saturday.

Old Bonhomme

Old Bonhomme’s team, the Boom-Shaka-Lake-Ahs, led by teacher Tammy MacLean and parent coach Jennifer Jim, won the Research Award for their extensive research and collaboration to devise a home water recycling system that would clean and filter rainwater and greywater. They designed a prototype for a system that would make homeowners more responsible for their water-use and save them money over time in water costs. The team consists of Clara Carpenter, Henry Goellner, Trip Hoffman, Ella Lin, Arden Poger, Owen Prange, Max Sigel, Miles Grossman, Justin Jim and David Lin. They won 1st Place at the Qualifying event and advanced to the Championship Event. At the Championship Event they won the Research Award.

Students discuss rules for robotics competition with referee.Fifth Grade Center

The FGC team, H2O To Go, led by parent coach Sherry Wolk, created a company named H2O To Go, a water transport solutions company which designed H2O Pullers for girls in rural Africa to use to pull larger amounts of water faster. Their hope is that Pullers will reduce the number of trips needed to fetch water, enable the girls to go back to school and reduce the injuries they suffer from carrying water on their heads. The team also designed Water Pods, large reusable plastic cubes that can be placed in areas that have experienced hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, contaminated water sources or flooding. The Pods are equipped with two filters, are refilled as needed, provide water for all of the families’ needs and do not create the recycling problem that cans and plastic bottles create. H2O To Go also designed a truck to carry the large pods to the areas in crisis and a water truck equipped with filters that travel to areas in need to refill pods or for individuals to refill their own containers. The team is comprised of Natalie Wolk, Maya Zigo, Isabella Huang, Lauren Clay and Emma Bangert. At the Qualifying Event they won the Core Values Award and a ticket to advance to Championship Tournament. At the Championship Event they won the Presentation Award.

Ladue Middle School/Fifth Grade Center

The LMS/FGC team, The Ate Sharks, led by parent coaches Gaurav Suri and Sonali Jain created an idea for a Greywater Planter. They developed a system to use the washing machine’s excess water to be reused to water plants. The water is transported to a drum through a hose. And another pipe, filled with vinegar, connects with the washing machine hose. The vinegar along with the greywater flows into the drum and neutralizes the alkalinity due to the detergent. If it gets too full, there is an overflow system that would get the excess water out. The water flows to a planter box through hoses where it will go through a soaker hose into a mulch filled trench to give water to the plants. The team is comprised of seven students from LMS and one student from the FGC. LMS students, Abheek Dhawan, Aditya Jain, Alison Nieder, Aric Wang, Claudia Kramer, Rohan Suri, Zachary Barrett and Arti Jain from the FGC. At the Qualifying Event they won the Champion’s Award and Robot Performance Award. At the Championship Event they won the Core Values – Teamwork Award.


Congratulations to Spoede team, led by Kathie Dolan. Nasty and Necessary #7. At the Qualifying Event they won the Core Values Award. Their project was to encourage farmers to use a low cost and green process of precision agriculture to monitor the nitrogen levels in their soil to decrease nitrogen runoff. Their team was Nick Pearlstone, Dorian Bunic, Celina Zhou, Anthony Zhao, Sarah Meade, Iris Wang, Sahasra Mandalapu, Christopher Huang, and Riyan Khan.


Congratulations to Reed team, led by teacher Karen Engelkenjohn and parent coach Marc Tourville. The Water Bots. At the Qualifying Event they won the Division Championship Award. Their project was to convert all the toilets at Reed to the water efficient dual flush toilets. The Water Bots are Lilly Tourville, Lexi Schoenecker, Carrie Clennan, Charlotte Kaye, Parker Meek, Bennett Hershey, Sofia Hall, Noah Gindelberger and Madison Stockwell.

Congratulations to all the teams that researched, collaborated, designed and prepared for the FLL (FIRST Lego League) tournaments this year! Hats of to their coaches as well!