School hosting robotics tourney


Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour is hosting a VEX IQ Challenge tournament from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today for elementary and middle school teams.

Around 70 teams comprised of nearly 200 students will be in attendance. Teams as far away as Tell City are registered. There also are several local teams: Immanuel, Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, Crothersville, Brownstown, Cortland, St. Ambrose and North Vernon.

VEX IQ is a worldwide robotics program designed to encourage elementary and middle school students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Not only do the students learn to build functional robots, but they also learn to program and maneuver them.

One component of the event is the teamwork challenge, in which two teams of two students work together as an alliance to get the highest score in 60 seconds.

Scoring on this year’s field, called Ringmaster, involves picking up rings and scoring them on various shaped goals. This collaborative competition helps build problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills.

The event also includes driving skills matches, in which one robot at a time is controlled by a student driver to score points, and programming skills matches, which require students to have programmed their robot to perform scoring maneuvers with limited human interaction.

VEX robotics participation has grown in recent years. With the help of the State Robotics Initiative, there are now more than 1,100 elementary and middle school teams in the state, making Indiana a leader in robotics education.

Another robotics tournament is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Immanuel, 520 S. Chestnut St.

The Immanuel robotics team is coached by Dallas Goecker and sponsored by Toyota Industrial Equipment, Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., Ralph and Susan Trimpe and Nick and Jeanne Bode.

Three Immanuel teams have qualified to attend the Indiana State VEX IQ Challenge on March 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for a chance to qualify for the world championship starting April 29 in Louisville, Kentucky. Two Immanuel teams also have qualified for the national competition April 2, 3 and 4 in Omaha, Nebraska.

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