March 13, 2019
Robotics team wins states, advances to world championship
A team of Boyce Middle School students – The Gear Grinders – was crowned tournament champions at the 2019 Vex IQ Pennsylvania Robotics Championship on March 9, 2019, at Keystone Oaks High School. In addition to winning the tournament, the team earned the Teamwork Champion Award and the Excellence Award, the competition's highest honor.
The team – comprised of sixth graders Owen Bell, Ian Dvorin, Ryan Hyatt, Rohan Mehta and Carlee Santel – now advances to the Vex IQ World Championship, which is set for April 28-30, 2019, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. The Gear Grinders will compete against 400 middle school teams from throughout the world.
In addition to their robot, the team participated in a STEM research project with math as the focus. Using Fortnite as an example, the team demonstrated how math is used in artificial intelligence and machine learning. At their station, they had demonstrations of AI robots, Cozmo and Vector, along with math lessons for tournament participants.
According to its website, “in the VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play with other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April.”