Berthoud, CO (Action Works) The two Berthoud High School teams and the Bill Reed Middle School team completed preparations for the VEX World Championship being held this week in Dallas, TX. This highly anticipated event brings over 400 teams from all over the globe for competition. Teams come from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, China and Europe.
“We are very well prepared this year,” said Brad Von Seggern, coach of the Berthoud High Robotics teams. “Usually teams are under the gun getting ready at the VERY last minute… even late at night prior to the events. We could not have done it without the space ASLAN Construction provided for the teams the past 2 months. The space gave us the opportunity to set up and work on the real 12’x12’ competition field. They have provided us with a very valuable community service.”
This year marks the first year for the World Championship for Berthoud High teams and the second for the Bill Reed team. The competition consists of 4 teams, all of whom may be perfect strangers, running 2 teams to a side on an alliance. Each alliance attempts to get “Nerf” style footballs and softballs over the center wall on to the opposing alliance side. In the last 30 seconds a volleyball sized ball is placed on each side making the closing moments of the match very exciting.
“Besides competing at the Colorado VEX Championship and one team traveling to Omaha for the Championship of the Americas, the teams have been competing with one another and learning strategy of the game,” says Ken Rayment, coach of the Bill Reed team. “This year, as in years past, the autonomous period of the program sets up a 2 minute remote control driver challenge. The students learn programming and also use those video game skills with a mechanical device that they have designed and built.”
The program promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for students and local companies are able see the value in having a local work-force with these skills.
“Action Works is the local non-profit that puts on the local robotics events with the help of the Thompson School District.” Says Liz Rayment, President of Action Works, “Woodward and GE have been supportive from the very start. These companies are now joined with companies such as Intel, BAE Systems, and Stratom. Robotics fulfills the challenge for Technology and Engineering. At Action Works we are now looking at developing or promoting meaningful challenges in Math and Science as well.”
The Thompson School District is offering age appropriate summer camps for grades 5 – 12. There are programs in LEGO Mindstorm, VEX Robotics and C programming for robotics for high school students. The information for these camps is at action-works.org/camps.