News for 5/29/2019


Thunder Ridge Students traveled to Washington D.C.

Team Opportunity was honored to be a part of the National Geographic Challenge, competing at the national level. They were one of 16 teams in the Nation tackling plastic pollution with their ideas of innovation!

Meet Team Opportunity: Ryan Epple, Ava Wiehman, Sydni Rust, Alex Keshmiry, and Zach Barnes. These five teenagers, recently promoted from 8th grade on May 6, and will be entering freshman year in the fall. With their robot TRASHI, and plan for battling plastic pollution, they made a grand trip to Washington D.C. the week of May 19-23, 2019.

Day 1 consisted of setting up their projects, team building and mentoring in their “pods”, a welcome meeting/reception, and short walk to the White House! There was a lot to take in on the National Geographic campus.


(L-r): Zach Barnes, Sydni Rust, Ava Wiehman, Alex Keshmiry, Ryan Epple.

Day 2: There were mentoring sessions with a National Geographic cartographer and engineer. They were also given ideas from National Geographic officials on campaign/advocacy and sciencetelling. They had student excursions in their pods and wrapped up with rehearsals.


Team Opportunity pictured with Tracy R. Wolstencroft, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society (NGS). He oversees the institution’s global strategy to achieve its vision: A Planet in Balance.

Day 3: Tuesday morning was their presentation and appraisal. Though they didn’t make the top three, these students did a great job and represented our school and state so well. They even shared their idea with Tracy R. Wolstencroft who is President and CEO of the National Geographic Society (NGS). He o