Liberty robotics team receives Think Award at VEX IQ state tournament

MADISON – Teams in the Liberty Robotics Club earned one of the best possible endorsements from judges at the VEX IQ Middle School State Championship.

The judges expressed how overwhelmed they were with Liberty Middle School students: “We were so impressed by the understanding and explanation of their programming and the use of detailed comments throughout the programming that we would hire them today.”

The C and D teams of LMS Robotics Club competed in the VEX IQ state tournament, hosted by Auburn University on Feb. 19. “Both teams worked hard competing against 45 of the best teams from across the state. Both teams had hardships throughout the day that they overcame,” science teacher and club sponsor Bryan Kennedy said.

At the end of the tournament, Liberty’s D Team was awarded the Think Award.

The Think Award is presented to a team that has developed and implemented quality robot programming as part of their strategy to solve the game challenge. This award qualified them from the VEX IQ Middle School World Championship in Dallas, Texas on May 8-10.

Team D, nicknamed “5 Guys,” received the Think Award. They are Caleb Densford, Aiden Johnson, Krishnam Maisuria, Colin O’Sullivan and Sota Yamamato.

Team C with the nickname “Lion 3” included Tosin Ayileka, Emmett Armstrong, Hany Amer, Srikrithi Eadala, Fiona Scully, Tatum Scully and Sebastian Scully.

“LMS C and D teams worked hard competing against 45 of the best teams from across the state and ended with several awards,” Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said.

Students competed using VEX IQ Competition Kits. VEX IQ is based on plastic, snap-together pieces specifically designed to build highly functional robots. However, this system does not require any prior knowledge in robotics.

“Students can easily build their first robot, and the wide variety of additional parts means that they can build anything they imagine as they continue to learn,” Kennedy said.

Each kit includes a hand tool for small hands to assemble/disassemble easily. Students build and design their own unique robot for competition.

Students compete on a six-by-eight-foot field that has unique game elements that change every year for a new season. Students must ‘drive,’ program, build and modify their robot throughout the season. Students program their robot for autonomous operation in skills.

Two robots compete in the Teamwork Challenge as an alliance in 60-second teamwork matches. They work collaboratively to score points. Teams also compete in Robot Skills Challenge with one robot taking the field to score as many points as possible.

The scoring objects are three-inch diameter balls, with 22 on the field. Contestants score maximum points by placing balls in goals, clearing corrals and hanging at the end.

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