DOWNEY – On Dec. 19, Griffiths Middle School hosted Downey Unified’s third VEX Robotics Competition titled, “VEX Engineers of the Future – Middle School Tournament.”
Held inside the Warren High School gymnasium, 24 various middle school robotics teams came to Downey to compete in the first Engineers of the Future Tournament that will be held annually.
Similar to the last two robotics competitions held by Downey Unified, the goal was for an alliance of two robots to work collaboratively to launch foam balls into nets located on the corners of a 12-by-12 ft. arena. With a total of six Downey Unified teams, Griffiths and Stauffer middle schools were each represented by three teams.
Receiving the Tournament of Champions award by taking first place was the Spartan Design Alpha and Stauffer Design Gamma from Stauffer Middle School. This victory has qualified the robotics teams from Stauffer into the U.S. Robotics Championship in April. Held in Iowa, this competition is an opportunity for the top VEX Robotics teams from across the world to compete with the best of the best.
Other notable awards that Downey Unified received during this competition were the Design and Judges awards. Both received by two team from Griffiths Middle School, the Design award was given to a team with a professional design approach and the Judges award was given to the team that was recognized by the judges for attaining special accomplishments during the tournament.
“It is remarkable how quickly our middle school robotics programs have grown over the past year thanks to our dedicated teachers,” expressed Downey Unified’s superintendent Dr. John Garcia. “Their passion for pushing students in developing their engineering and robotics skills will have a direct impact on their future; preparing our students to be globally competitive as they continue with their Downey Unified education.”
On Jan. 23, Stauffer Middle School will be sending their robotics teams to the SkillsUSA Regional Competition to compete in the Mobile Robotics Competition and the Middle School Team Engineering Challenge. This will only be a handful of the nearly 400 Downey Unified students that will be competing in this regional competition at the end of the month.
Classroom STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts are put to the test on the playing field as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications and more. Tournaments are held yearround at the regional, state, and national levels; local champions go on to compete against the best in the world at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April.
In addition to having a great time and building robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition and their work within their team, students learn many academic and life skills, better preparing them to be college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character.
The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the ultimate STEM activity for middle and high school students. Each year an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and skills challenges.
The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning in STEM. These are just a few of the many fields students can explore by creating with VEX Robotics technology. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. It also allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students’ abilities.
The affordable VEX platform is expanding rapidly and is now found in middle schools, high schools and university labs around the globe.
This is the fourth competition that robotics teams within Downey Unified have competed in; there will be a total of seven competitions entered by the end of this school year.