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An Independent, Coed, Friends School, Nursery Through Grade 12

Middle School Robotics Competes in World Championship

The Middle School robotics team, 1784C, had an amazing experience at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Dallas, Texas (April 30-May 3). Having won the Southern New England Regional Championship in February, our team – consisting of one 7th and three 6th grade students – joined the 420 top teams from over 60 nations at the world's largest robotics championship. They partnered with students from China, Morocco, and Finland, as well as teams from across the US, putting their driving, coding and collaborative skills to the test. 

The atmosphere at Worlds is more like a carnival than a contest – sort of Halloween-meets-Mardi-Gras – with team booths giving away candy, stickers, pins, bracelets, pens, pencils and all sorts of 3D-printed souvenirs; booths decorated with balloons, colored lights, confetti, and streamers; and many teams in elaborate costumes reflecting their team identity. Teams like the Cheeseheads and the Flying Pepperoni Pizzas wore cheese-wheel hats and custom made pizza caps (complete with toppings); teams from Kazakhstan,Tajikistan, Ghana, and Burkina Faso wore traditional clothing representing their countries. There was even an all-girl Barbie team with pink costumes and a pink robot!

But don't be misled: all this fun happens alongside a very intense competition! Over three days, our students learned to strategize and work together with teams speaking different languages and holding different cultural expectations, manage their own match schedule, and navigate challenging situations. They learned to succeed and fail with grace and dignity, using every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. And they met and got their photo taken with one of the co-founders of VEX Robotics, Mr. Bob Mimlitch!

All of us left Worlds with smiles on our faces and a fierce motivation to advance our skills and qualify for next year's championship! We welcome the participation of any other middle schoolers interested in joining us. There are all kinds of roles to play on a VEXIQ team; designers, builders, coders, drivers, notetakers, costume makers, photographers, artists, managers. Come and visit us in the YLab after school on Mondays!

Thanks to team coach David Wasser for these great details and photos!