The Warsaw Area Career Center was abuzz with activity Saturday, Jan. 23, as middle school and high school students from throughout Indiana and surrounding states gathered to compete in the annual VEX Robotics Competition.Watch a video from the competition here
The theme was “Nothing But Net.” Students have been working throughout much of the school year to design and build robots capable of picking up rubber balls and throwing them into a net. While this may sound simple, there is quite a lot of mathematics and science involved.
Saturday’s event was a state qualifying competition. Teams that scored high enough will advance to the state competition, set for Saturday, March 5, in Indianapolis.
“From there, they qualify to compete in worlds,” WACC Engineering/Technology Department Leader Abbi Richcreek said.
This was Warsaw’s second time to host the event, which included teams representing 47 schools from throughout Indiana and surrounding states. For the first round, teams were randomly paired with other teams in what are called “alliances.” Each alliance competed against other alliances.
In subsequent rounds, teams were able to choose their own alliances. Each team’s robot had 15 seconds of what Richcreek called “autonomous play,” then one minute and 45 seconds of driver-controlled play. Each playing area had two nets, one red and one blue. The object was for each team’s robot to land as many balls in that team’s net as possible in the allotted two minutes.
This year, Warsaw’s team consists of senior co-captains Patrick Mosher and Kara Blair, senior Marie Hoover and sophomores Ethan Boorem, Evan Mosma and Alex Fisher. Naming themselves, “That One Team,” they aptly dubbed this year’s robot, “That One Robot.”
“That way, if a team says, ‘we want that one robot,’ everyone would think they were talking about us, even if we are in last place,” Boorem said jokingly.
Saturday was the first competition That One Team was able to make it to this year due to technical difficulties with their robot.
“Hopefully we can get our foot in the door,” Boorem said.
Aside from the robotics club, WCHS is also home to the Warsaw Area Career Center, which features a robotics program. According to Warsaw Area Career Center Principal/Director of Career and Technical Education Ronna Kawsky, the program is in partnership with several local manufacturers and helps prepare students to go on to secondary education in the area of robotics and engineering.
Pictured above in front from left are senior co-captain Patrick Mosher, senior Marie Hoover holding That One Robot and sophomore Ethan Boorem. In back are sophomore Evan Mosma, sophomore Alex Fisher and senior co-captain Kara Blair. (Photos by Amanda McFarland)
To learn more about the competition, click here.