VEX Robotics Teams Advance to World Championship in Florida

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March 10, 2011

Several middle school and high school students from Michigan will be heading to Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort next month—but not for spring break. They will be competing in the VEX Robotics World Championship.

On February 26, twenty high school teams and five middle school teams competed in the VEX Spartan Robotics Challenge held on the Michigan State University campus. Now, the winning teams will be heading to Florida for the VEX Robotics World Championship, April 14-16, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a 220-acre sports facility at Walt Disney World Resort.

The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Using the VEX Robotics Design System, students build innovative robots and compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field. These projects encourage teamwork, leadership and the development of problem-solving skills.

The VEX Spartan Robotics program is sponsored by and mentored by MSU’s College of Engineering, Recruitment and K-12 Outreach.

Winning teams from the Feb. 26 tournament are the ThunderChickens, a high school team from Utica Community Schools, Sterling Heights, Mich.; Get ‘Em Tigers, a George Washington Carver Academy middle-school team from Highland Park, Mich.; and the VEX Raptors, Haslett Middle School, Haslett, Mich.

The Haslett Middle School team also won the Excellence Award, the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics Competition. The recipient of this award is a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a well-rounded VEX robotics program. Other teams winning awards at the Feb. 26 competition were: the Motorheads from DeWitt High School, Dewitt, Mich., for Robot Driving Skills; and Robots for Dummies, a middle school team from George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park, Mich., for Programming Skills.

These five teams will advance to the World Championship in April.

Also heading to the World Championship in April will be three other local teams sponsored by MSU’s College of Engineering:
â–ª Sexton High School’s Math, Science, and Engineering Magnet Academy; they qualified at a Feb. 12 tournament at De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, Mich.
â–ª DeWitt High School; they qualified at a Dec. 18 tournament at Cranbrook Middle School, Vaughan Campus, in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
â–ªLansing Catholic Central High School; they qualified at a Jan. 8 tournament at Wayne State University in Detroit

The 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship will include top teams from more than 200 VEX Robotics Competition tournaments that took place in cities around the world from May 2010 to March 2011.

An MSU team of 10 students has also qualified to compete in April at the VEX Robotics World Championship, in the college division.

Learn more about the VEX Robotics World Championship