HMS team world robotics bound


A team of five eighth grade students from Hillsboro Middle School have qualified for the VEX Worlds Robotics Competition in Dallas, Texas on April 28-30 by being ranked sixth in a state competition out of 60 teams that competed.

The members of the team, named A Train, are Kainen Allen, Gaige Greer, Sam Hunt, Jayce Newton and Connor Yochum.

At the world competition, they will be competing against peers from more than 60 countries.

Hunt came to the robotics camp held in Hillsboro this past summer, but the rest of the team were completely new to robotics competition.

The team’s robot competed in a skills game that required the team to drive its robot and score points for one minute plus one minute of the robot programmed to drive on its own scoring points. The final challenge of the game had the robot elevating itself on a pole off the ground.

“Each year the game changes. Students have to know the rules of the game and build a robot that accomplishes the tasks of the game,” said Tracey Staggs, a teacher and robotics coach. “There is not a direction sheet that says put this together. They literally take pieces of metal and put them together to build the bot.”

Staggs said the competitions are tough, and their robot does not have pneumatics like a lot of teams they face. “Our skills score with good driving and programming was what qualified us for both state and worlds,” she said.

“My brother did robotics, and he said it was fun, so I decided to do it too,” said Greer.

“I enjoy all the time I get to spend building on the bot, and I like putting stuff together,” said Hunt.

The team is working to get donations from businesses, organizations and members of the community to fund the tip to Texas. “Robotics is an expensive activity to participate in, so fundraising is always something we do,” said Stagg. Those interested in supporting the team can call Tracey Staggs at the school at 937-393-3485 or email [email protected].

In the skills category, the team is currently ranked 110th out of more than 2,300 teams in the United States. Only 17 middle school teams from Ohio have been invited to the VEX Worlds Robotics Competition.

“It’s a testament to the hard work, dedication, and skill of the team,” said Staggs. “Celebrating successes like these can inspire and motivate everyone involved to continue striving for excellence in future competitions… Participating in the VEX Worlds competition offers our students a unique chance to showcase their STEM skills, creativity and teamwork on an international stage. Donors can play a vital role in empowering these young innovators and fostering a passion for technology and engineering within our community.”

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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