Houston, TX – Spectrum 3847, the St. Agnes Academy/Strake Jesuit College Preparatory engineering team secured the VEX Amaze Award at the Houston VEX Competition in Conroe this past weekend. The Amaze Award is presented to the team whose robot demonstrates overall quality both in its construction and performance on the field. The students competed with and against 55 teams from Greater Houston, Dallas, and Austin. The action-packed day required middle and high school students to execute VEX Toss Up, a game which involves moving 32-sided objects, lifting 16” inflatable balls, and hanging from a 40” high structure. In addition to competing, Spectrum students helped volunteer at the event by setting up the fields, and ensuring teams arrived to their matches on time.
Allen Gregory, the team’s advisor said, “I am proud of my students for their ability to take what they’ve learned and apply it to building and programming a competition robot from the ground up. I am impressed by the way they have developed critical skills for life including collaboration, teamwork, and leadership. We are building more than robots here - we are shaping our future innovators to positively impact the world around them.”
To prepare for the competition, the group worked together to design and build a robot using the VEX Robotics Design System. Spectrum meets after school five days a week. The students learn about electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer aided machining, web design, and materials fabrication. The students apply what they’ve learned about science, technology, engineering, and math in order to build the semiautonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition -- communication, project management, site management, and the importance of composure, because students have to learn how to lose as much as they have to learn how to win.
Houston VEX is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. VEX Robotics is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 7,300 teams from 26 countries that participate in more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide.
Photo L-R: Sara Baltz '16, Ryan Ogilvie '14, Allen Gregory (Mentor), Justin McAuliffe '14, Hunter Werlla '14, Jamie Smith '16.