DALLAS – Noah Beckner, Wesley Hays, Nick Murphy, Evan and Micah Rassi – all Wawasee High School graduates – competed for Purdue University at VEX U Worlds Robotics Competition May 4-5 in Dallas.
BLRS (Noah Beckner, Evan and Micah Rassi plus team members) placed first in the Science Division (division champions) and runner up (VEX U World finalists) in the Worlds Vex Robotics Competition.
BLRS2 (Nick Murphy, Wesley Hays plus teammates) are VEX U Robot Skills World Champions and placed second (division finalists) in the Technology Division.
Purdue earned more trophies than any other university at Worlds.
Purdue SIGBots competed against such universities as Illinois, Rutgers, Auburn, Clemson, University of Florida, USC and universities from other countries such as Spain, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia and Mexico, among others.
Micah Rassi, SIGBots vice president, said, “These competitors really bring it. They are amazingly tough teams.” Each Purdue team competed in up to 18 matches and six skills rounds in a two-day period, defeating teams with stunning win/loss records while clawing their way to the top of the bracket.
Purdue SIGBots not only competed in the Worlds competition but also took online final exams while winning top honors at Worlds Competition. “This is finals week,” said Evan Rassi, taking finals remotely in Dallas. “I started my final outside with my laptop in a quiet place. Then it rained, so I moved undercover. The bugs began biting while I was sitting on the concrete, so I moved inside by the windows and hoped I would not lose my hotspot signal or go over on time and miss driving for a match.”
Wawasee High School Robotics Coach Jed Wandland said, “These boys all are former Indiana High School State Champions, Indiana State Champion Runners Up, and Indiana State Robot Skills Champions as well as High School VEX Worlds Competitors. It is great to see them continue to grow and compete in the highest level of robotics competition.”
SIGBots is a Purdue Club, not a college-sponsored team. Each club member pays their own way and dues. There are 80-plus team members all working in various roles to make things happen for the SIGBots. Purdue University provided travel assistance for the Worlds competition.
Noah Beckner is a freshman majoring in aeronautical engineering technology.
Wesley Hays, a freshman, is majoring in chemical engineering.
Nick Murphy, a junior, is majoring in aerospace engineering.
Evan Rassi, a freshman, is majoring in industrial engineering technology.
Micah Rassi, a junior, is majoring in robotics engineering technology.