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Hosted by Liberty, VEX IQ Robotics Challenge attracts 45 teams

MADISON – In a first for Madison City Schools, Liberty Middle School hosted the VEX IQ Robotics Challenge on Dec. 4.

VEX is the name of the company that designs the game and develops robotics systems for teams. VEX has different robotics systems for all ages from pre-kindergarten to college.

VEX IQ, a snap-together robotics system, accelerates and simplifies building an endless variety of robots. Students can watch their code come alive on a physical robot and apply key STEM skills, sponsor Bryan Kennedy said.

For 8- to 14-year-olds, VEX IQ Challenge offers an exciting, open-ended robotics and research project. The hands-on challenge lets contestants solve a scenario by designing, building and programming robots.

Students work in teams to score points in teamwork matches and in the Robot Skills Challenge.

Liberty has four robotics team:

* Team 35758A — Hany Amer, Emmett Armstrong, Elijah Farr, Sebastian Scully and Cameron Castillo.

* Team 35758B — Eunsoo Lee, Ayden Schuppener, Jordan Herrera, Declan Giles, Yaamee Mboula and Brenden Hammon.

* Team 35758C — Fiona Scully, Tatum Scully, Connor Kaduce, Tosin Ayileka and Srikrithi Eadala.

* Team 35758D — Aiden Johnson, Caleb Densford, Krishnam Maisuria, Collin O’Sullivan, Sota Yamamato and Jackson Thorn.

Students play VEX IQ Challenge ‘Pitching In’ on a six-by-eight feet rectangular field. Two robots compete in the Teamwork Challenge as an alliance in 60-second long teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points.

Teams also compete in the Robot Skills Challenge with one robot taking the field to score maximum points. These matches consist of Driving Skills Matches, entirely driver controlled, and Programming Skills Matches, autonomous with limited human interaction, Kennedy said.

VEX Robotics separates VEX IQ into three categories:

* IQ Electronics — Includes robot brain, controller, smart motors, batteries, smart radios, sensors and cabling.

* Structure — All plastic parts used for assembly, such as beams, pins and connectors.

* Motion – Moving parts, such as wheels, gears, sprockets and pulleys.

“The scoring objects in VEX IQ Challenge Pitching In are 3-inch diameter balls with 22 balls on the field,” Kennedy said. “The object of the game is to score as many points as possible with your alliance partner by scoring ball in goals, clearing corrals and hanging at the end of the match.”

At Liberty, robotics already is a “Project Lead The Way” class. “Robotics team students (build) critical skills for the team be successful in an everchanging environment that our future holds. Robotics provides 21st-Century skills that will make students be better prepared and adaptative for the future workforce and jobs that do not currently exist,” Kennedy said.

“The kids . . . encountered struggles and overcame them to finish fourth. I’m so proud of our teams,” Kennedy. Liberty will host its next robotics tournament on Feb. 5, 2022.

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