The first ever VEX Robotics California State Championship was held yesterday at Great America in Santa Clara and two teams from San Jose schools combined with another school from Southern California to walk away with the inaugural event's top honors.
Students from Bellarmine College Preparatory and Challenger Middle School formed an alliance with Champs Charter High School of Van Nuys to outscore 45 other teams to win the competition. By winning the state championship, the three-team alliance earned the right to compete at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship April 21 at the Anaheim Convention Center, where more than 700 teams from all over the world will vie for a range of awards. Other awards presented at the Great America event, included Tournament Finalists, Excellence Award and Design Award. The competition was attended by an enthusiastic crowd of friends and family who cheered on their favorite teams.
According to event spokeswoman Victoria Grisanti, teams of high school and middle school students maneuvered their well-crafted, custom-built robots to compete in a game called “Sack Attack” that’s played on a 12’x12’ field with two alliances - one “red” and one “blue” pitted against each other. The teams compete in fast-paced, two-minute matches and are awarded points by positioning small sacks resembling bean bags onto colored floor goals, troughs and a "high goal". Points are also awarded for having the most robots parked at the end the match. Additionally, the first 15 seconds of each match are performed on autopilot, further showcasing each team’s technological mastery of its meticulously created robots.
Ms. Grisanti, Senior Director of Communications and Community Relations of the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC), said it takes students approximately three to four weeks to assemble a robot from kits made by the Bay Area-based tech company, Autodesk. REC is a non-profit organization based in Rockwall, Texas, that manages the world’s largest middle and high school robotics competition. Prior to the California State Championship, teams must qualify at regional events that first began last June.
The VEX Robotics Competition is presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, which engages students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The VEX Robotics California State Championship was sponsored locally by The Northrop Grumman Foundation, Chevron, and NASA.
For more information on the VEX World Championship in Anaheim or the robotics program, visit the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation website or RobotEvents.com.