Richmond, BC – In an extraordinary feat, and out of the 32 participating countries, totalling thousands of entries, Pythagoras Academy’s “A.I. Investigation & Exploration Club,” led by the Director of Instructional Innovation Ms. Briana Bolt and assisted by coach presentation expert Mr. Benjamin Hagwood, secured the top spot in the WAICY elementary #AI Showcase Track. The winning project, an ASL Translator App isn’t just a technological breakthrough; it’s a visionary response to real-world challenges. As the club noted in their presentation, “The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, almost 2.5 billion people will experience some level of hearing loss.”

This triumph not only highlights the technical fluency of Richmond’s young minds, but also signifies a commitment to addressing real, tangible global issues using technology. As #AI frequently treads the delicate balance between inspiring wonder and warranting caution, this project epitomizes the amazing capabilities inherent in technology. Beyond its technical merits, the ASL Translator App underscores a dedication to breaking communication barriers and fostering inclusivity in a world. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of Artificial Intelligence, responsible use is paramount. As we celebrate this success, it’s crucial to collectively ensure that technological advancements contribute positively to society. Educational institutions worldwide are grappling with the question of whether and how to integrate Artificial Intelligence into their curriculum. Ms. Bolt, however, suggests a perspective shift: “I’m so proud to be part of a school community that embraces new tech and risk taking. Rather than viewing Artificial Intelligence as a tool that we prohibit or disregard in education, I look at it as an exciting opportunity where it can have a positive impact and be used in ways that are meaningful and purposeful in teaching and learning.” 

Congratulations to the A.I. after-school club champions – Grade 5 students Chloe, Jasper, Julie, and Vivian – along with Director Ms. Bolt. This achievement not only solidifies expertise and exploration in Artificial Intelligence, but also sets a standard for ethical innovation.

Extra notes:
Competition date: Dec. 2-3 Winners announced on Dec. 4th and posted on the WAICY Website.
Competition track that the club participated in: AI Showcase Track “Create a project that showcases an AI solution for a real-world problem.”

We are excited to begin our PA’s “Student News Broadcast” by planning, recording and editing. This is our fourth year of reporting important events, celebrations and successes that occur at school every week. All news is planned and recorded by PA students. Students learn about newsworthy material, journalism, ethics, broadcasting, producing and the importance of working as a team to create something that the entire PA school can be proud of and enjoy. This is a great opportunity for students to practice leadership skills, be engaged with the events that are happening at school, be resourceful and look for new interesting news stories!

On April 20, 2022 two students from Pythagoras Academy, Leo Cao (Grade 7) and Jamie Zhang (Grade 5) along with the school’s IT/ADST  teacher and FLL coach Mrs. Yanina Vihovska went to  Houston, Texas to take part in the 2022 First World Championship. We were one of the two top FLL teams from Canada that were invited to the FIRST 22 World Championship to join this important in-person event. Pythagoras Academy students and staff are very proud that our team was one of them.

This event was very exciting, since after 3 years of holding all of the competitions online due to COVID 19, this was the first in-person event this 2021-2022 season, FIRST FORWARD powered by Qualcomm. 

Thousands of students, coaches and volunteers from all over the world came to Houston to take part in the ultimate celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and innovation at the George Brown Convention Centre from April 20-23.There were intotal 108 teams. During FIRST LEGO League Challenge (ages 9-16) elementary and middle school kids are judged on Core Values, Robot Design, and Project. 

Our students were extremely excited and slightly nervous to showcase their robot and all of the smart attachments along with their innovative project. In addition, our team was one of the two teams representing Canada. Thus, we felt even more responsible to do our best during this competition. 

We are very proud of all our students from Pythagoras Academy, who joined FLL teams last September, attended all the classes with Mrs. Vihovska and practiced weekly after school with our partners Roboplanet Society and wonderful coaches John and Tony. But especially we are proud of the two students that were representing our school at the World Championship, Jamie (Grade 5) and Leo (Grade 7). 

Both students worked very hard since August 2021 preparing for the FLL Challange. They spent multiple hours building and testing their robot, writing programs and adjusting their attachments to complete all the Transportation-specific mission models on the 2021-2022 FLL Challenge mat with exclusive sets of LEGO.  

During FIRST 2022 Championship students met a lot of other teams, they exchanged tokens and pins, played games, took pictures and found friends. They learned about other team’s projects and solutions. Also they shared their idea of a recyclable box that can be used up to 70 times to deliver different items without wasting cardboard and costing only 24 cents a box.   

It is worth noting, that this is our second invite to the World Championship. Last year our BC Champions team team attended Asia-Pacific World Challenge online and received a “Motivation Award”. Therefore we were delighted to join this event in person and compete along with other 108 teams. 

In addition, its worth noting that our students have already attended First Lego League Explore (K-Grade 4) Mission Moon World Championship in Houston in April 2018. 

At the FIRST 2022 Closing celebration, our PA students found out the theme of the next season- Electricity and Power, they also were able to view the new missions mat. All this motivated them to start researching and preparing for the new 2022-23 season during our flight back to Vancouver. Way to go, boys!

Pythagoras Infinity X has just won the “Motivate Award” trophy at the FLL (First Lego League) Canada Cup National Finals held on June 12, 2021!

A total of 32 top LEGO teams were selected to compete for 10 prestigious awards in the FLL Canada Cup. The Pythagoras Academy team has accomplished the great feat of winning one of these 10 trophies in their first ever national final, an amazing accomplishment.

Let’s applaud the victory of these four outstanding Pythagoras Academy Grade 7 students: Tristan Lin, Curtis Liu, Millicent Liu, Mark Zhang, together with their IT teacher, Ms. Vihovsk and their coach, Tony Liu from RobotPlanet.