On Saturday, January 20th, Walnut Grove High School hosted their first ever VEX Robotics competition. This was the first Robotics competition hosted in Walton County. Vex Robotics is a large aspect of the Technology Student Association at Walnut Grove. The chapter has four teams, two of which competed at WGHS on Saturday. While most students were at home for their snow day on Friday, the Technology Student Association members were at school building robots and preparing to have 32 other teams come to Walnut Grove.
“I think it is impressive to see students getting involved in programs like VEX in high school,” said Beth Brown, TSA Booster Club President at WGHS. “It gives them a chance to explore technology and consider career paths that they might not otherwise have considered.” Students are responsible for building a robot that can compete against other robots. During this years competition, the robots must move mobile bases and stack cones to see who can get the most points. They can get additional points for coding their robots to work autonomously for the first thirty seconds of the match.
During the competition, teams work together to compete for a spot at the state competition in March. Students get assigned qualifying matches, where they are paired with other teams from the competition. The teams are responsible for making sure they are at the match when it is time to compete. The teams compare robots with their alliances and help each other fix their robots. Teams are placed on a leaderboard as they finish competitions. Twenty-four teams will continue to the alliance round. The top eight teams get to take turns picking two teams to be on their alliance. Both teams from Walnut Grove High School and Loganville High School made it into the alliance round. During the alliance rounds, a bracket was made and the alliances competed against each other. Along with the three teams who won got an invitation to state, the team with the best notebook will be competing at state as well. WGHS TSA and Robotics would like to congratulate everyone who won.
While the WGHS officer team was working to host the tournament, two VEX teams traveled to Valdosta, Georgia to compete in another tournament. Both teams did very well at the tournament. Santino Madsen and Graham Parker, members of one of the teams that went to Valdosta, won a trophy for runner-up for their notebook design. Although they have not gotten a spot at the state tournament yet, they are doing very well and we look forward to the rest of the year.
Photographs courtesy of Walnut Grove High School VEX Robotics.