Middle School Robotics Program Has A Stellar Year!
Posted on 06/09/2022
The Middle School of Plainville VEX Robotics Program enjoyed an exciting year of  local, state and world competitions and recognitions.

Five of the Middle School’s VEX Robotics Teams competed at the Connecticut State VEX IQ Championship on March 5th. Two of those teams qualified for the World event and traveled to Dallas, Texas to compete in the 2022 VEX IQ Robotics World Championship in May.  The four Middle School students who competed in the World Championship, Josh Carlina, Paige Weimer, Iman Bilal, and Raman Kasabrukhau,  met participants from around the world who joined them to compete at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The Plainville students spent the first day of the competition meeting fellow participants, having their robots inspected, and attending the opening ceremonies.

“Day two of the event is when things really got underway,” explained Program Advisor and Coach Camille Westfall. “Each of the two teams participated in seven qualifying matches over the course of six hours. The MSP teams had to locate their partner teams in a sea of thousands of students from 800 teams.”

The two Middle School of Plainville teams earned the highest scores of their season and learned a great deal by competing at the World Championship event this year. On the third day of the event, the teams finished their final three matches, then watched the overall finals with 20,000 fellow competitors in the convention center.

“Planning and practicing with our partner team was essential leading up to the one-minute match,” said Paige Weimer. “Timing was important, and if teams were late to check in, they faced disqualification from the match.”

“The highlight of the event was the reveal of the new game for next season,” said Raman Kasabrukhau. “We are already planning what we need to do to get back to the world event next year.”
  
"As our team moves up to Plainville High School in the fall we are so happy to hear that Superintendent LePage approved a pilot VEX EDR program so that we can keep competing,” said Josh Carlina.

Westfall was pleased with the efforts of her teams this year. “The students all worked very hard during the season, and the world event was the culmination and celebration of all the hours and dedication they put into Robotics this year. We look forward to next year and the new game, Slapshot.”

The Middle School’s VEX  Robotics Program was also recognized by the Plainville Town Council on June 6th for their commitment to excellence and for earning the most wins historically in Connecticut  for VEX Robotics, Additionally,  Westfall was recognized for coaching the Robotics program for 30 years.

“I could not possibly be more proud of the growth and accomplishments of these exceptional students through the Vex Robotics Program and their experience at the World competition.  It takes a huge commitment of time, effort, collaboration, and perseverance by students, parents, and the amazing Ms. Westfall alike, and I am so grateful that our students had the opportunity to see that these "keys to success" are relevant, valued, and celebrated in Plainville,” said Middle School of Plainville Principal, Aimee Roberts.

“I couldn’t be more impressed and proud of our students and MSP VEX Program Advisor, Camille Westfall. This is truly an outstanding program, for so many reasons. Most importantly, the students involved in VEX learn how to collaborate, communicate, innovate, to be resilient in inevitable failure and defeat, and to handle adversity with grace and reflection, being mindful of how their actions impact themselves and others. These qualities encapsulate our Plainville  Portrait of the Graduate qualities that we hope to instill in all students. These teams are a model of project-based and experiential learning, with students receiving a very challenging task, learning by trying and failing multiple times along the road to success, and adapting with each obstacle and new iteration. Everything about VEX Robotics is positive for students, and beneficial to their development,” said Superintendent of Schools, Steven LePage, who noted, “For these reasons, and at the request of some of our wonderful student leaders and parents, I sought Board of Education approval to expand these programs across the entire  district next year. The Board approved of this expansion unanimously, and we are planning to hire a VEX program advisor at each elementary school, and two advisors at both MSP and at PHS if interest and enrollment supports doing so. We will use grant funding for all costs over the next couple of years, and will seek community business sponsors and partners going forward. The elementary school level of VEX will be more of an exploratory club, whereas the middle and high school teams will be increasingly rigorous, challenging and competitive in nature. Our goal is to make Plainville even more of a VEX dynasty whom others from around the state, country and globe will look to and try to emulate. We have amazing kids, and hope for excited and energized new advisors who will learn from our in house VEX guru, Camille Westfall. We also have wonderfully supportive parents and community members who will embrace this authentic learning experience for our children of all ages. If you can’t tell, I’m almost as excited about this program as our students!”