Elementary and middle school robotics teams will gather at Wallace State Community College on Saturday, Feb. 5, for a VEX IQ Lion’s Pride Robotics Tournament — the third similar event held on campus in the past month. Doors open at 8 a.m. at Traditions Bank Arena inside the Tom Drake Coliseum.
The VEX IQ Robotics Tournament is administered by the Wallace State Computer Science STEM Club.
At the Jan. 29 tournament, Hartselle Middle School, Duck Springs Elementary School (Attalla), and Robert F. Bumpus Middle School (Hoover) all won prizes, earning their respective state championship tickets. to be held at Auburn University on February 29. 19. Hartselle Middle School Tiger Team 3 won the Middle School Achievement Award and was the Robotics Skills Champion. The Duck Springs Mechanic Team won the Elementary School Excellence Award and the Teamwork Champion Award. Duck Springs Gears won the design award. Robert F. Bumpus had three teams combined to earn the first and second place Teamwork Champion.
“All of the students we have hosted have demonstrated a clear understanding of the engineering process, problem solving and creativity. I’m excited about the future of engineering and STEM in the state,” said Terry Ayers, Wallace State IT president and event organizer. “The level of excitement at each event is evident throughout the competition, and while not everyone walks away with a trophy, they walk away with a greater appreciation for STEM education and how well robotics covers more than building a robot. Well-supported and well-funded robotics programs build camaraderie, networking skills, communication skills, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity within a team. Robotics is a sport for all types of students.
Schools scheduled to participate in the Feb. 5 tournament include Alexandria Elementary School, Colbert Heights Elementary School, New Bethel Elementary School (Tuscumbia), Duck Springs Elementary School (Attalla), Echols Middle School ( Northport), Hartselle Middle School, Robert F. Bumpus Middle School (Hoover), Harlan Elementary School (Florence), Underwood Elementary School (Florence), Kilby Laboratory School (Florence), Hibbett School (Florence), and Forest Avenue Elementary School (Montgomery).
The final matches are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 4 p.m.
The mission of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation is to increase student interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), by engaging students in educational programs. practical, affordable and durable robotic engineering.
VEX IQ is a snap-on robotic system designed to provide opportunities for elementary and junior high school students. The VEX IQ competition empowers students to build and program robots, encouraging teamwork, problem solving and leadership as teams build and use their robots.
In addition to the game competition, teams are judged on things like robot design, programming, and the engineering notebook as part of their overall scores.