More than 120 middle school students compete in robotics competition

More than 120 middle school students compete in robotics competition
Posted on 05/25/2018

The positive student energy was palpable during the fourth annual Middle School VEX Robotics Competition held at Harlandale Middle School on May 18.

A total of 29 teams, representing Terrell Wells MS, Harlandale MS and Leal MS, learned to design, build and program their competition robots over the past six weeks.

This year’s theme was “Minefield Removal.” The robot’s challenge was to remove plastic from the minefield and relocate to safety zones. Three to four team members were engaged in the multifaceted challenge, allowing multiple drivers to control the robot and engineers to assemble components for additional points during match time.

Parents and educators witnessed 21st century learning at its best. Team work, collaboration, creativity, imagination, communication, cooperation and problem solving skills were strengthened and tested. Student confidence was highly evident as teams problem solved, repaired, reprogrammed, re-engineered and retested their robots in-between highly suspenseful matches.

This event could not have occurred without the technical support provided by Harlandale STEM Early College High School. STEM ECHS used a computerized team matching and ranking program used in VEX Robotics competitions around the world. 

“Harlandale ISD has invested heavily in the STEM based Project Lead The Way program. The educational pipeline has prepared students to advance to the next level in STEM,” Leal MS Teacher Gabriel Garcia stated. “According to PLTW, the program provides transformative learning experiences for students and teachers. The pre-engineering program encourages students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers.”

HMS Teacher Richard De La Rosa agreed and said, “I see this program growing as the years come. Many kids are interested in this field even going back to elementary. What used to be only a high school curriculum is now reaching students as young as third grade. It feels really good to be part of something this big.”

Congratulations to all the winners!

First place: Leal MS’s The Four Amigos: Kevin Mejia, engineer and programmer; Jesse Ceniceros, lead driver and engineer; Jose Flores, team leader and chief engineer; and Matthew Lombrano, support.

Second place: Leal MS’s Team TJPJ: Jazalyn Castro, driver and engineer; Jocelyn Lopez, driver and programmer; Tiara Navarro, team leader, lead driver and engineer; and Pete Sosa, field judge and engineer.

Third place: Leal MS’s The Robots: Braylan Brown, driver and engineer; Andres Caracheo, team leader, lead driver and engineer; and Mauricio Pedroza, driver, engineer and programmer.

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