Area teams receive top honors at recent robotics tournament

Published 10:07 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

AUSTIN —This past weekend, over 200 students competed at the Dream It. Do It. Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament hosted by Riverland Community College which took place at Austin High School. Thirty-six different teams from 16 different schools and organizations competed throughout the day.

The action-packed day required middle and high school students to execute the VEX Robotics Competition game “Nothing But Net,” applying their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math. They also used these skills to build semi-autonomous robots. The game is played by scoring colored balls in high and low goals and by elevating the robot in a designated climbing zone.

Team 7192, the Windom Eagles A Team, from Windom Middle School and High School received the Excellence Award as the all-around top team.

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The Tournament Champions were two teams from Mankato West High School, 8110B, named Team KaBuum, and 8110X, named The Ribbits, and a team from Mankato East High School, 9457A, named MEHS Robotics. MEHS Robotics also received the Design Award for their robot’s design and engineering notebook and the Robot Skills Challenge.

In second place were the Windom Eagles A Team, team 8091, named Mysterious George from Austin, and 9457Z, named MEHS Inverted, from Mankato High School.

Team 8440B, named IJ Holton Engineers B, from Austin Public Schools won the Programming Skills Challenge.

Each of these teams qualified for the Dream It. Do It. Minnesota State VEX Robotics Tournament, which will be Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 in St. Cloud. There, they will compete for invitations to the World Championship Competition.

Two additional awards were given throughout the day. Team 8452B, named Ellis Robotics, from Ellis Middle School received special recognition through the Judges Award. Team 3211A, the BaconBotz, from Boy Scouts Troop 211 in Sartell, received the Sportsmanship Award for their enthusiasm and courtesy to other teams.

“It’s great to see teams’ innovation and dedication at work during the tournament,” said Bob Bender, tournament coordinator and faculty member at Riverland Community College. “They are using the same skills needed by today’s manufacturers, and we are excited they have this opportunity to not only gain STEM skills but also learn about career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.”

The Dream It. Do It. Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament was one of several qualifying tournaments for the Dream It. Do It. Minnesota State VEX Robotics Tournament sponsored by 360 Manufacturing Center of Excellence and Dream It. Do It. Minnesota.

360 and Dream It. Do It. Minnesota have led VEX Robotics in Minnesota, helping youth connect their interest in robotics to career opportunities in modern manufacturing. Dream It. Do It. Minnesota is also supported by Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA) and Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association. MPMA is also a platinum sponsor for VEX Robotics through Dream It. Do It. Minnesota, providing kits to local teams.