AKRON — On Jan. 26, the Tippecanoe Valley High School Robotics Team competed in their first VEX Robotics Competition hosted by Wawasee High School. On Feb. 23, TVHS Robotics traveled to Park Tudor School in Indianapolis and had their second state qualifying event.
The VEX Robotics Competition or VRC game changes every year and is designed for 7-12th-grade students. To compete, students must design, build and program a robot to complete the tasks given in the year’s game description. This year VRC’s game is called Turning Point where robots can be programmed to lunch balls at targets, flip discs, place discs on posts or obtain a parking space on the field’s podium.
The TVHS Robotics team designed, built and programmed a robot in one month after they received a new VEX V5 microcontroller and parts leading into their first competition. Despite this abridged timeline, the team’s bot was able to flip discs with a claw that could lift and spin the discs about 11 inches off the ground. Additionally, the bot was able to park on the top podium. After a morning of seven qualifying matches, the TVHS Robotics Team became alliance captains for the 16th alliance. By making it through alliance selections, the team was able to compete in the single elimination bracket matches that occur in the afternoon. While they were defeated in their first elimination by the highest rank team, the experience was exciting and enjoyable for the students.
At the second competition, the TVHS Robotics team developed strategies for selecting team alignment and coordination among the other competing teams. This time they become captains of the 7th ranked alliance as they headed into the final elimination matches, but lost again in the first round of single elimination final matches. The team valued their time competing and further developing their VRC skills.
Currently, the team just received their second V5 microcontroller and parts based on a Girl Powered grant sponsored through VEX. The team continues to practice designing, building and programming in order to prepare for their next competition which will be announced in April at the VEX World’s tournament.
TVHS Robotics would like to thank for the following supporters of the program: Bibs Billfold Grant, Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Girl Powered and Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services.
Any interested community members who would like volunteer to help the team through engineering or program experience or would like more information about this topic, please contact Jennifer Roden at [email protected]. Any interested TVHS students who want to join the team should know it is never too late to robot.
Jennifer M Roden is the coach of the TVHS Robotics team and teacher at TVHS. Roden also serves as a volunteer for the Indiana Department of Education to help develop Phase I of the Science Framework to deliver high-quality science instruction for Indiana students. This group of educators will develop Success Criteria, Academic Vocabulary and Cross-Cutting Concepts for the Indiana Academic Standard for Physical Sciences.