CONGRATULATIONS! Louisa Boren STEM K-8 robotics team headed to world championships


>(L-R: Ryan Colby, Sampson Lee, Zaid Bezzaz interviewubg with judges at 2017 Washington State VEX IQ Challenge Championships)

Robotics students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in North Delridge are going to the VEX IQ Challenge World Championships next month! This is just the second year for the robotics program at the school, launched by technology teacher Julie Schmick last year, and the STEM students are the only team from a Seattle school to make it to worlds. Here’s the announcement:

A team of fifth-grade students from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is headed to Louisville, Kentucky to represent the school at the VEX Robotics World Championship. Four robots from STEM competed in the Washington State VEX IQ Challenge Championships in Ellensburg, Washington on March 11th. Two robots made it to the final matches, and a third took home the competition’s top honor, qualifying the team for the world championships April 23-25, 2017.

The Excellence Award, the highest honor at a VEX robotics competition, was presented to the drivers of Robot 10966C, Zaid Bezzaz, Ryan Colby, and Sampson Lee. The award goes to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high-quality VEX robotics program, taking into consideration a team’s behavior, sportsmanship, and professionalism at the event, in addition to robot design, driving skills, and performance in tournament matches.  The approach demonstrated by the STEM K-8 teams in working on their robots and participating in competitions is representative of the school’s project-based learning curriculum, as is the student engineers’ ability to clearly articulate the work they put into designing and building their robots.

In VEX competitions, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in game-based engineering challenges. The VEX IQ Crossover Challenge provides elementary and middle school students with exciting, open-ended robotics and research projects that enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. Two robots compete as an alliance in 60-second teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Additional points are earned through skill tests, documentation reviews, and team member interviews.

Thanks to parent Lisa Dawson for first word on this, and for the photos, including this one of all the students who competed at the state championships:

In all, more than a thousand teams from around the world will be competing at worlds – but the STEM students are the only ones at elementary level from a Seattle school. Robotics is a before-/after-school enrichment program at STEM, whose PTA is covering the event-registration fees for the students, while their families must cover the cost of traveling to Louisville. They’re crowdfunding for help with that – if you’re interested in helping, here’s the YouCaring page.

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