MSP To Host State VEX Robotics Tournament
Posted on 02/13/2019
msp students The Middle School of Plainville will host the 5th annual VEX IQ Robotics State Championship on March 9, 2019.  The event will feature over 50 teams from elementary and middle schools across the state. Middle School Robotics Coaches Camille Westfall and Laurel Schwartz, varsity and JV student members, and their families have been busy preparing their robots for competition and planning the details for what should be a very exciting event. “It is hard to believe that five years ago I began this program through a grant from the Petit Family Foundation and two teams. In the years since then, the program has grown exponentially due to the high level of interest from the students and the support that we’ve received from our administration, parents, and the community. Students appreciate how each match is a learning opportunity that improves not only their robot but also their teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills,” said Westfall.
VEX IQ Robotics helps elementary and middle students learn basic robot innovation, working together, troubleshooting, and having fun in a team setting. Using the VEX IQ Robotics Design System, students build innovative robots and then compete on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field. In this year’s theme, “VEX IQ Next Level,” the object of the game is to attain the highest score by scoring and stacking colored hubs in building zones, removing bonus hubs from a hanging structure, and by parking under or hanging on the Hanging Bar. Much like March Madness in college basketball, elimination rounds determine the best teams in the state. Awards are presented for design, teamwork, robot skills, and judges’ choice. The top honor is the Excellence Award for the best overall team in the state.
        On the day of the tournament, doors will open to the public at 8:45AM, and an opening ceremony is scheduled for 9:00AM. Robotics matches will run from 9:30AM – 2:30PM, followed by a closing ceremony. Refreshments will be available, and the event is free of charge.
Several local businesses and organizations have made generous donations to support the upcoming tournament event at the Middle School including Carling Technologies, Clean Earth, CWPM, Gems Sensors and Controls, Okay Industries, the Plainville Police Union, the NE Service Company and Trumpf.
“I am excited that MSP is hosting the tournament.  The attention this will draw to this excellent program and our hometown teams is wonderful.  I am especially impressed with the work Ms. Westfall and Ms. Schwartz have done to coordinate this event and raise donations,” said Middle School of Plainville Principal, Matthew Guarino.
“We are so pleased and proud to host this statewide competition for the first time in our district. I look forward to seeing our students apply their STEAM knowledge during this competition,” noted Superintendent Brummett.