Madison students put their robotics skills to the test
Twenty-eight robotics teams from across Madison County Schools converged on Madison Crossing Elementary last week for the district’s annual VEX IQ Robotics Invitational Event.
Jennifer Richardson, Madison County Schools Robotics Coordinator, said the VEX IQ Robotics Tournament has been an annual event since 2014, and only started with three teams.
“As soon as people saw the robotics program and how engaged the students were, the need to expand became very evident,” Richardson said. “Over the next two years, we jumped up to 65 elementary teams and hosted our first Madison County Schools Invitational event. We have continued offering these opportunities to students from elementary through middle and high school because the hands-on experience has provided students with real-world problem-solving and communication skills that will carry them far beyond the classroom.”
Richardson said this tournament showcased both elementary and middle school students from across the district in an educational competitive robotics program.
The competitors were given a challenge at the beginning of the year where they had to design, build, and program a robot that could complete specific tasks.
At the competition, students participated in the driving and programming skills competition as well as the teamwork competition where they were paired with another team to work together to complete the tasks.
“The competition focuses on teamwork, communication, and keeping students engaged in hands-on technology challenges that build their interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” Richardson said.
The 28 teams this year consisted of students from second through eighth grade from Luther Branson School, East Flora Elementary, Camden Elementary, Old Town Middle School, Madison Crossing Elementary, and Highland Elementary. Multiple teams took home more than one award. The awards were:
• Excellence Award: Old Town Middle School
• Teamwork Champions: Old Town Middle School and East Flora Elementary
• Teamwork Finalists: Luther Branson Elementary
• Design Award: Highland Elementary
• Robot Skills Champion: Old Town Middle School
• Judges Award: Luther Branson Elementary
• School Spirit Awards: Luther Branson Elementary and Highland Elementary
Richardson said the winning teams received trophies that they were able to take back to their schools to put on display, and the Excellence and Teamwork Champion winners earned an invitation to the 2023 Mississippi VEX Robotics State Championship.
“The other teams will continue working and preparing for their next competitions and hopefully earn an invitation to compete at State as well,” Richardson said. “The state championship will be held at Mississippi College on March 9, 2023, where winners will receive a spot to the VEX World Championship in Dallas, TX on Apr. 30 – May 4, 2023.”
For more information about the VEX IQ Robotics Invitational Event or to volunteer to help with future competitions, contact Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.