VEX IQ Robotics State Championship
Posted on 03/12/2019
msp students holding trophies The VEX IQ Robotics State Championship was held this past Saturday at the Middle School of Plainville. 54 elementary and middle school teams from throughout the state competed for eight spots that would qualify them to compete at the World VEX competition in Louisville Kentucky. VEX Competitions bring STEAM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. STEAM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Competitions are held from December through March at the state level and culminate at the VEX IQ Robotics World Championship each April where 400 middle and elementary school teams from throughout the world will be in attendance.

Continuing their season long winning streak, three teams from the Middle School of Plainville qualified to travel to Worlds. “The VEX Robotics World Championship is a thrilling experience for everyone involved, from students competing to teachers, mentors, volunteers and spectators. Year-over-year we continue to see students from around the world raise the bar not only in their STEM capabilities, but also their teamwork and energy during the competition,” said Dan Mantz, CEO and chairman of the board of the REC Foundation, in a press release. “It’s experiences like this that prepare students with the skills necessary to meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce.”

Team 10931B, Seth Lahoud, Daniel Talarico, and Jacob Keene won 1st place in Driver Skills and Team 10931C, Zachary Finkelstein, Tim Paradis, and Matt Bonney won 2nd place. The Driver Skills event is where one robot takes the field to score as many points as possible. These matches consist of Driving Skills Matches, which are entirely driver controlled, and Programming Skills Matches, which are autonomous with limited human interaction. Both teams put in numerous hours of preparation practicing their driving and developing their winning programs. According to their coach and Technology/Engineering teacher, Camille Westfall, "These two teams have won at every single competition that we have attended this year. In fact they have won more awards than any other VEX IQ team in the state. Their dedication has been inspiring to both myself and the other teams. I am so proud of them!"

In the Teamwork Challenge, two robots work together as an alliance in 60 second long Teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Valiantsin Kasabrukhau, Ella-Jane Lacasse, Faith Emery, Alexis Graff, and Juliana Carlina, won 1st place in the Teamwork challenge along with a team from Ashford, CT. Teams 10931B and 10931C were paired together for their Teamwork challenge and won 2nd place.

“As an teacher, I’m genuinely excited about the opportunity to share my passion for robotics by mentoring and supporting young people,” said Laurel Schwartz, JV coach and Music teacher at MSP.

The teams and coaches would like to thank all the judges, parents, and referees that volunteered their time throughout the season and their sponsors: TRUMPF, Okay Industries, Plainville Police Union, MOTT Corporation, Crucial Systems LLC, Clean Earth, GEMS Sensors and Controls, NE Service Company, CWPM, Carling Technologies, Air Connections, and Walker Crane and Rigging.