NoVa’s crazy smart kids


Jovia Ho, Jack Dudley, Abby Porter and Sydney Dayyani point out the material for their Heads Up! Helmet project that won them first place in the Toshiba and National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program in the grades 4-6 age group. (Loudoun Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Andrew Sharbel)

In addition, kids from Northern Virginia won top honors in a world robotics competition and also in cup stacking — which is not robotics, but is still very hard.

In devising a combat helmet made of various layers and sensors, sixth-graders Jack Dudley of Herndon and Sydney Dayyani of Leesburg, and fifth-graders Jovia Ho and Abby Porter of Leesburg beat out 4,345 other entries in the Toshiba and National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards. Wow.

“Military helmets needed to be improved because bullets are made stronger now, and bombs are stronger,” Jovia said.

In robotics, the First Lego League is an international organization that provides research and building challenges for kids ages nine to 16. The Ashburn Robotics team NX-Treme, profiled by The Post in February, won the award for Best Mechanical Design at the World First Lego Festival in St. Louis last month. The team members were Alex Duan, Kyle Dumouchelle, Jacob Hughes, Kaustubh Rane, Austin Riopelle, Nathan Riopelle, Lindsey Vanderlyn, Michael Vanderlyn and Katherine Yang. They are coached by Mark Vanderlyn of Broadlands.

Finally, 10-year-old William Polly of Arlington just set a world record for stacking and unstacking three cups at a time at the World Sports Stacking Championship in Dallas. Now before you get into that age-old barroom argument of whether stacking cups is a sport, watch William work his magic in 1.68 seconds and tell me whether that doesn’t just beat the pants off of curling.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.
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