Ten VEX robotics teams from QE – a School record – have won places at next month’s World Championships in the USA.
Their qualification follows a string of mid-season successes, including triumphs on home territory at the QE-hosted North London regional rounds of the junior IQ and senior VRC teams.
Congratulating them, Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Our robotics teams march on to ever-greater success, thanks to their technical skills, teamwork and great commitment.
“I wish them all the best for the national championships in Telford and then for Dallas in May.”
The qualifiers include six Vex IQ Challenge (VIQC) teams from Years 8 & 9 – Gearsquad, Nova, Eclipse, The Rubber Bands, CyberForce and Shattersquad – and four VRC teams from Years 10 & 12 – HYBRID, Vortex Invicta, Hex-Green and Hyperion.
In addition to its main current competitions (Pitching In for IQ teams and Tipping Point for VRC), VEX also organises a series of subsidiary challenges and competitive online events.
Among all recent VIQC highlights are:
- Five QE teams holding a top-20 place in national skills rankings. Five were also finalists in the World Online challenge (the School’s previous best was one), gaining them automatic entry to the World Championships;
- Gearsquad’s gaining of Excellence and Skills awards at the QE-hosted event, which secured them early qualification for the ‘Worlds’. At this point, Gearsquad also boasted the highest skills score in the UK;
- Nova’s victory in the QE-hosted tournament. Nova were also finalists in the Career Readiness Online challenge, finalists in the Poster Design online challenge and among the winners in the VIQC STEM Research Project competition with their entry, Camelid Antibodies.
- Eclipse taking first prize in the Theme it up online challenge, which involved creating and presenting a theme that ties the current IQ game’s objects, scoring, and rules into an engaging and creative story. Eclipse also won the double Teamwork Champion & Design awards at the Essex regional event;
- The Rubber Bands gaining a ‘triple’ – the Excellence, Teamwork Champion and Skills Champion awards at the Essex event – as well as being among the winners in the STEM Research Project with their entry, The Foginator, and a runner-up in the Career Readiness online challenge.
- Cyberforce’s winning of the Poster Design Online challenge.
Head of Technology Michael Noonan also paid tribute “Shattersquad for their sheer determination in increasing their skills score at the Worlds Qualifier event, securing one of the last seats on the plane to Texas”.
Among Spring Term VRC successes are:
- HYBRID winning the Innovate award at the World Championship qualifier event in early March, and placing second in Skills at the Essex VRC regional event;
- Year 10’s Panth Patel and Tharsan Nimalan on being selected as the newest members of their respective teams through their online challenge efforts; Panth joined team Vortex Invicta; Tharsan the experienced Hex-Green;
- Hex-Green’s number 1 ranking in the UK for Skills, with a combined score for driver and programming skills of 430 ahead by a distance of the second-top team, on 386;
- Hex-Green’s multiple competition successes: Excellence Award winner and overall runners-up at the Stowe Regional; Tournament Champion and Skills Champion at the QE-hosted North London Regional; Excellence Award and Skills Champion at the GCA Regional;
- Hyperion’s securing the Excellence Award at the QE North London Regional and winning the Tournament Champions and Design awards at the Stowe VRC Regional.
While examination commitments prevent Year 12 from travelling, IQ teams from Years 8 and 9 VRC competitors from Year 10 will all be heading for the States.
Mr Noonan looked back on an unprecedently successful term for QE robotics: “The excitement levels were incredible in advance of the day in February day when the online challenge winners were released. We knew this could pave the way for our highest-ever number of teams qualifying for the World Championships, and so it proved!
“I commend all of our teams for their valiant efforts to date, and remind them that our biggest and most exciting challenge lies in wait. Over a two-week period in late April and early May, these teams will travel to Telford and Texas in search of glory!”