VEX World Championships 2016
The NightHawk Robotics Club concluded their successful season with a bang in Louisville, KY at the 2016 VEX Robotics World Championship. These Nighthawks performed brilliantly and had a blast competing for 3 straight days against 500 of the best robotics teams in the world. Below are the results.
569B was 1 of 100 teams in the Arts Division. This team went 5-5 in their 10 qualifying matches. They worked tirelessly for the entire 3 days ending up ranked 47th out of 100, however they were ranked 13th out of 100 as an offensive robot. For this reason they were chosen by the #1 seeded alliance for the playoffs. This 3 team alliance breezed through the quarterfinals and semifinals without losing a match. In the finals our partner teams lost the first match in the best of three format. In the second match our robot along with our teammate was able to secure the victory keeping our robot undefeated in the playoffs and pushing the finals to a third and final match where the winner would be the division champion and have the opportunity to compete for the World Championship inside the main arena. It was decided that our robot would replace the #1 seeded robot due to our speed and versatility. While the students gave it their all we were defeated and ended up as the Division Finalist. Only 30 teams out of the 500 in attendance made it this far. Some simple math to consider – Just qualifying for the World Championship puts you in the top 5% of teams in the world while being one of the top 30 in the world ranks you in the top 1% out of over 10,000 registered robotics teams from 31 countries. These NightHawks are elite and proved that they can compete with anyone in the WORLD.
569C was 1 of 100 teams in the Math Division. This team went 3-7 in their 10 qualifying matches placing them 79th out of 100. 569C was not selected for the playoffs. Even though things didn’t work out the way they had hoped for they fought until the very end keeping their heads held high. Upon not being selected for the playoffs it would have been easy to start a pity party, but these students asked Team B what they could do to help for their playoff run. They made sure our playoff team had all the parts needed and cheered for them vigorously throughout each round. Even I learned how to be more gracious in defeat from these shining examples and I am grateful for their efforts, attitude, and teamwork mentality. To be able to put your frustrations aside to help your sister team when they need you most gives you an idea of the qualities of these fine young men.
Both teams did an amazing job not only competing in their matches, but also submitting entries for multiple awards in many different categories. They wrote essays, made a website, collaborated on a number of different projects, were interviewed multiple times, asked to explain every aspect of their robots, programming, and their teams, and they always stayed calm under pressure. I have no doubt that every one of these students has a bright future ahead of them.
A huge THANK YOU to Shannon Augustin. She expressed an interest in helping me manage the 4 robotics teams comprised of nearly 60 kids and has been instrumental in our successes throughout the year. To have another mentor of her caliber as an example for these students only raises the bar for the NightHawk Robotics Club. The students and I have enjoyed having her as part of the team and look forward to her return next year.
Check out this article from the event!