Germantown wins national title

Germantown wins national title


Germantown Middle School’s robotics team Achille’s Steele secured the Tournament Champions Award and Second place Robot Skills Award at the 2023 CREATE US Open Competition in Council Bluff, Iowa last week. 

Middle school students Patrick Liu and Walker Knight competed with and against 98 different teams from across the county and qualified for the 2023 VEX Worlds Championship, sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. 

Liu and Knight worked together to design, build and program a robot that could quickly and efficiently solve specific challenges that come with playing “Spin Up,” the 2022-2023 VEX Robotics Competition game. 

After the competition, the Achille’s Steele took home the Tournament Champion Award and second place in Skills, along with an inviting to the Worlds competition this April. 

Patrick Liu, an eighth-grader at Germantown Middle, said robotics has always been a passion of his, as early as third grade. 

“During these five years, I have constantly improved my communication, teamwork, and creative thinking skills,” Liu said. “Every year, I learn new skills to apply to the next year and daily life. Additionally, the relationships I build along the way are one of the greatest benefits of each robotics season.” 

Liu said he also qualified for the Worlds championship during the 2021-2022 season, and it was an exciting and wonderful experience. He said this year is no different and he is excited to represent the state of Mississippi at the championship. 

“We will work our best to make it into the elimination bracket and hopefully receive an award,” he said. 

Jennifer Richardson, District Robotics Coordinator for Madison County Schools, said she is proud of Liu and Walker for their ability to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to building and programming a competition robot for ideation to completion. 

“It’s been remarkable to see what they’ve accomplished in just one year and inspiring to think about the positive impact they will have on the world around them,” Richardson said. 

Coach Kami Roberson said she has had the pleasure of teaching Liu and Walker for the past three years and describes them as “go-getters” and hardworking students. 

“They are extremely competitive in everything they do,” Roberson said. “They compete to see who has the highest average in class, what grade they made on a test, and more. They have a passion for Robotics and will work hundreds of hours to be successful. They provide help to our other school teams as well as other teams at competitions they attend. I will have fond memories of the years I did have them in class.” 

Holly Knight, mother of Walker Knight, said her son and Liu showed up in full force in the national championship and that Germantown was considered an underdog to win the competition. 

“They competed against technology powerhouse states like California, Hawaii, and Minnesota,” Knight said. “These two teenagers from Madison brought home a national victory in one one, but two categories.” 

Achille’s Steele will compete in the Worlds 2023 Competition on April 27 through April 29 at the Kaye Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. The event is open and free for families and other members of the community to attend.

For more information, contact Jennifer Richardson at (601) 259-4381. 

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