Another VEX IQ robotics tournament set for Saturday at Immanuel


Tribune staff reports

For the second Saturday this month, a VEX IQ robotics tournament will take over Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour.

About 60 teams from around the state, including several from Jackson County schools, will participate in matches Saturday.

For the elementary school state qualifying tournament, qualification, skills challenges and judging will run from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 2 p.m. After an alliance announcement at 2:15 p.m., there will be finals and awards.

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For the middle/elementary school division non-state-qualifying tournament, qualification matches will run from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by finals and awards.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The public is invited, and there is no admission fee. People should enter the doors of the school along the 500 block of South Walnut Street.

Area businesses, including sponsors Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and Toyota Industrial Equipment, also are encouraged to attend. More volunteers and financial support are welcome to grow the program in Jackson County.

The other VEX IQ tournament at Immanuel was Feb. 10.

The elementary school division hosted 38 teams and started with 152 qualification matches of 60 seconds each. That was followed by 10 finals matches. Teams had the chance to qualify for the state tournament, which is set for March 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The awards are as follows:

Teamwork champions (robot performance during alliance challenge): Petersburg Elementary 12109B (Conner Loveless, Parker Knust, Drew Dawson, Kaden Englert and Noah Meece) and Immanuel 520D (Brad Dyer and Ben McClure); these teams qualified for the state competition

Teamwork second place: Immanuel 520E (Jack Mellencamp and Elijah Tempest) and Immanuel 520N (Ethan Alberring and Myles Chandler)

Robot skills champion (top combined programming and driving skills challenge score): William Tell Elementary 17529B

Judges award (recognition from judges for special accomplishments): St. Mary’s of Rushville 12220A

Design award (most effective and efficient robot design process): Petersburg Elementary 12109B

Excellence award (top all-around program — robot performance and judging): William Tell Elementary 17529A; this team qualified for the state competition

STEM research project award (most effective research project presentation): Highland Hills of Georgetown 45859A

A tournament for middle schools and a few elementary schools was conducted simultaneously that day. There were 14 teams in this division that competed in 70 qualification matches, followed by four finals matches.

The results are as follows:

Middle school finals Match No. 2: Brownstown 358C (Alli Dillard and Cody Burnside) and Immanuel 520P (Mitchell Mellencamp and Kade Gillaspy); these teams took third place in the teamwork challenge

Middle school finals Match No. 3: Immanuel 520A (Ross Pumphrey and Trevor Goecker) and Brownstown 358A (Landon Hehman and Jayse Davis); this alliance placed second in the teamwork challenge and #358A also took first place in the skills challenge

Middle school finals match: Immanuel 520W (Jonathan Barrales and Ryan Kleman) and Brownstown 358B (Elijah Reynolds and Kylor McCulley); this alliance won the teamwork challenge

The event was a success with the help of many volunteers for setup and teardown, concession stand sales, queuing teams, judging, timing, scoring and more. The Trinity Lutheran High School robotics team, including current team members and alumni, also helped.

Dallas Goecker, coach of the Immanuel and Trinity robotics teams, has helped encourage boys and girls from Jackson County schools and others around the state to get involved in robotics and promote science, technology, engineering and math skills through the VEX IQ program.

“Besides preparing for these large tournaments, he has also put in long hours to kick off Immanuel’s robotics team and mentor the kids in several evenings after school each week,” parent Holly Kleman said. “He encourages the kids to persevere through failure and use those situations as learning experiences and to brainstorm about improvements they can make to enhance their robots’ performance.”

Four Immanuel teams have qualified for state, and three have qualified for the national competition, which is April 2, 3 and 4 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Trinity’s robotics team also has qualified for state and national tournaments through the VEX Robotics program.

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What: VEX IQ robotics tournament

When: Saturday (elementary school state qualifying tournament with qualification, skills challenges and judging from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 2 p.m., alliance announcement at 2:15 p.m. and finals and awards at 2:30 p.m.; middle/elementary school division non-state-qualifying tournament qualification matches from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by finals and awards; doors open at 7:30 a.m.)

Where: Immanuel Lutheran School in Seymour (enter through the doors of the school in the 500 block of South Walnut Street)

Who: Around 60 teams from around the state, including several from Jackson County schools, will participate in matches; the public is invited

Cost: Free for spectators


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