Superbot Saturday at Georgetown Elementary
Kallie and Madison are 5th graders at Georgetown Elementary. They've been getting their Stretch Robot ready for the past three months.
"It has a claw in the top to grab the hubs and put them in the scoring box," says Kallie.
That's one way to score points. 32 elementary and 9 middle school teams from across Delmarva are putting months of hard work to the test.
Principal of Southern Delaware School of the Arts, Travis Bower has seen many teams go through this competition during his 9 years with Vex. "They had to go through the design process to create their robot from scratch and compete in the game called Next Level," he says.
Teams get one point for getting an orange piece into the goal, two points if they can stack them, and double points if they can knock a yellow piece off the top of the course and stack it on top of the others. They can also earn a point if they park their robot uner the center bar. Two points are awarded if they can hang their robot off the bar and four points are awarded if they can exhibit what is called high hanging.
Bower explains, "Both teams working together will get the total number of points with the idea being to ultimately work together as a team. Vex IQ really supports the idea of teamwork and working with other students not just from your school but others."
Rahul is a 7th grader at Wicomico Day School. He teamed up with 7th grader, Sid, and 8th grader, Gourav, who are both from Salisbury Middle School. They started working back in June to build an autonomous robot.
"We've programmed it to start at a certain part and we've used block programming to make it do the basic commands such as move forward, turn right a certain amount of rotations, with a certain degree of power," Sid explains.
They believe choosing this method will help them in the future. "We believe that programming would've helped us in the future if any careers required robotics," says Gourav.
The top teams from the qualification round face off in a final round of Next Level, but Bower says this time there is more that contributes to their final score. "Students had to submit a design notebook documenting their whole design process and that's going to be judged as well," he explains.
Kallie and Madison are proud of how much teamwork that notebook showcases. "We all had a part in the journal and we did our autobiographies which showed a lot about our team and to be with our team was amazing," says Madison.
After the final rounds come to a close, the top middle school and the top 3 elementary schools will go on to compete in Kentucky at the Vex World Championships.
In the end, Dark Side Robotics earned the middle school excellence award and H.O. Brittingham also earned an excellence award. Both teams have earned a bid to the world championships. Claymont elementary earned the teamwork award at the elementary level and is sending two teams to worlds.