Waubonsie Valley Robotics Team 8780A made history this year, as their team was the first in the school’s history to qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, last month.
The championship brings together the best robotics teams from across the globe to compete using their robots. The team was required to design, program, and construct a robot to execute several challenging tasks.
How Waubonsie Valley Robotics created their robot
“We’ve had a total of three robots. The most recent one was the one that we took to worlds was able to score in a variety of ways when it comes to the design of the game, whether that be shooting into the high goals or it’s similar to Frisbee golf, where you want to shoot those Frisbees into the chain basket or these rollers that are colored cylinders that were able to turn or touching every tile, all of those different scoring mechanics we’re able to do with our robots,” said Waubonsie Valley Robotics Team Member Jonah Elias.
Despite the lengthy competition criteria, their robot checked all the boxes, allowing Team 8780A to compete in Dallas and mix with the world’s best.
“It’s also just a great time to hang out, meet a lot of those teams that we’ve heard so much about, just ask about the different engineering processes and designs that they had and see a bunch of cool different features on their robots and just be able to ask more about them. That’s probably my favorite part of the [VEX] World Championship,” said Elias.
VEX World Championship presents students once in a lifetime opportunity
Though they didn’t win, the experience only furthered their passion for robotics, whether in a competitive environment or not.
“Most of our teams do want to be competitive and kind of go to different competitions and get that experience, but we’re also open to different teams just wanting to experiment with the robotics in general,” said Waubonsie Valley Robotics Team Member Krishna Jaganathan.
Robotics gets more students involved in STEAM
“Depending on what the student really wants from the club, when they go to that first interest meeting, whether it be more of a social club or more of a competitive club where you’re, in either case, able to build robots, code them, test them, and overall just have a lot of fun with the program. It really depends on what that student is looking for,” said Elias.
Jonah, who recently graduated from Waubonsie Valley, has plans to expand his passion through majoring in mechanical engineering. Yet, Jonah and Krishna believe that no matter what one’s future plans are, anyone with an interest in robotics should give the program a try.
“Definitely give it a try because even if you’re not really STEAM oriented, there’s still a lot of things for you to do, and you can kind of get introduced to STEAM in general because it’s really fun and the Waubonsie robotics specifically kind of helps a lot of our students get interested in STEAM and while having fun too,” said Jaganathan.
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