A Bob Jones Academy Middle School robotics team, The Light Brigade, won first place at the Falcon Middle School Qualifier held at Sevier Middle School in Greenville, Nov. 2. The win qualifies the team to participate in the state championships in Charleston on February 29, 2020.
At the Sevier tournament, which is part of the worldwide VEX Robotics Competition, 38 teams competed in 82 matches. BJA entered six teams. In the qualifying rounds, computer programs randomly paired teams. In the championship round, teams made alliances and chose their own partners. The Light Brigade, comprised of Samuel Headley, Daniel Hand, Aaron Ellis, Jon Crosby, and Alex Fitch, joined forces with the Land Sharks of Blue Ridge Middle School to win the overall tournament.
The remaining five BJA teams placed 14th or higher and have several more opportunities to qualify for the state championship. Both Jupiter’s Titans (Jacoby Chisholm, Red Gibbs, Caedmon Jansen, Troy Wheeler, and Lukas Hansen) and Einstein’s Engineers (Kendell Jones, Erin Droddy, Shannah Lin, and Caleb Ellis) made it to the championship rounds.
In VEX programs, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, and communications. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April.
“We encourage our students to focus on producing a fundamentally sound, competitive robot for competition,” says Tim Jones, BJA faculty and coach of the robotics teams. “Our students worked hard to build, test and code their robots. They achieved high rankings due to their solid execution. We look forward to how they will perform at the next tournament.”
The VEX Robotics Competition is the world’s largest and fastest-growing educational robotics competition. Presented by VEX Robotics and the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, the event includes more than 20,000 teams competing in over 50 countries.