MSU-sponsored VEX team wins world award

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April 30, 2014

An MSU College of Engineering sponsored team, the Haslett VEX Raptors MSU from Haslett High School, beat out 430 teams from 27 countries to win the coveted VEX Robotics World Championship Excellence Award in Anaheim, Calif., April 23-26.

Nik Buchholz, Hannah Kempel, Connor Rowley, Austin Scheerer and Matthew Watson, coaches Claus Buchholz and Kim Schramm, and “Kitt” the robot were awarded the highest honor in the VEX Robotics Championship (VRC) high school division. In the past six years, this is only the third high school team in the United States to win the Excellence Award.An MSU Engineering sponsored VEX team is world champions! The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU members are Coach Claus Buchholz, Connor Rowley, Nik Buchholz, Kitt the Robot, Matthew Watson, Austin Scheerer, Hannah Kempel, and Coach Kim Schramm.

“The VEX Excellence Award is a world-class honor that goes to the team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics program,” said Drew Kim, assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship and K-12 outreach in the MSU College of Engineering. “MSU is proud that one of the 34 teams that the university sponsors did so well at VEX World Games and is such an outstanding example of the science and engineering skills being developed here in our state.”

The team is sponsored by the Michigan State University College of Engineering. It qualified for world games by taking top honors during the Michigan VEX Robotics State High School Championship, hosted by MSU in March.

Kim credited Robert Watson, K-12 outreach/robotics coordinator for MSU’s College of Engineering, for his outstanding efforts in leading the college’s robotics program.  “He is doing all the work and is well deserving. The College of Engineering deeply appreciates all his efforts,” Kim added.

Haslett VEX Raptors MSU

  • The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU also finished near the top of the Science Division.
  • The 2014 excellence award qualifies the Haslett VEX Raptors MSU to receive an automatic invitation to world games in 2015, along with an invitation to this summer’s games in Hawaii.
  • The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU have qualified and competed for the world championship each year since they were founded four years ago.
  • The second team from Haslett at world games, the Haslett Vortex team, placed 56th in the math division, which is an outstanding result for their first time at the intensely competitive international level. This team was started with funding from The Foundation for Haslett Schools.
  • The Raptors and Vortex teams are among the seven award-winning teams of the Haslett Robotics Club.
  • See the trophies and learn more about how to join one of Haslett’s seven award-winning robotics teams at the Haslett Robotics Club open house in the Haslett Middle School cafeteria on Thursday, May 8, from 6-8 p.m.
  • Also: the DeWitt Robotics team #1581C competed at world games in the math division and finished 77th. DeWitt also has a history of having teams consistently qualify for world games in the past several years.
  • Youthville Detroit Robotics Team 4540D, also sponsored by MSU, made it to quarterfinals during world games.
  • Michigan, compared to other states, has a high number of school robotics teams. The state currently has the highest number of FIRST Robotics Competition teams in the nation, as well as a large and rapidly increasing number of teams in other robotics leagues such as VEX, FLL, and VEX IQ.

VEX Robotics World Championship Games

More than 15,000 participants gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center from April 23-26 to demonstrate their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills by going head to head with custom-built and programmed robots. VEX now has 10,000 teams active in 33 countries. In the VRC high school division, there are 5,514 teams in the world and 4,016 in the United States. The 2014 VEX World Games were the largest VEX competition ever conducted.

MSU sponsored seven of the 16 high school teams from Michigan at VEX World Games.

After a long and spirited series of matches among teams from Canada, China, Mexico and the United States, trophies were awarded for the VEX IQ Elementary & Middle School World Championship, the VEX Robotics Competition Middle & High School World Championship, and the VEX U World Championship competitions.

One team from each of the five divisions also received the Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics World Championship. The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU received the award for VRC High School. Other winners included the TechnoBots from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, for VEX IQ Elementary; Reisenschein from McLean, Va., for VEX IQ Middle School; Highlands Inter Robotics from Pearl City, Hawaii, for VRC Middle School; and OYES Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand, for VEX U.

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk visited with the VEX teams during world games and encouraged the students to stick with their STEM passions.

The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU team beat out 430 high school teams from around the world to earn the coveted VEX Robotics World Championship Excellence Award.About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities and robotics teams around the world. VEX is the largest and fastest growing educational and competitive robotics program in the world.