Moffat County Bulldogs participate in robotics rumble | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County Bulldogs participate in robotics rumble

For the first time, Moffat County elementary school students joined middle school students to compete in a robotics competition.

Twenty-four elementary and middle school students from Craig competed in the VEX IQ Rocky Mountain Rumble robotics competition, held Feb. 9 in Centennial.

“It was a great experience for the students, as well as me,” said Ty Kuberry, robotics team sponsor and Project Lead the Way instructor for the Moffat County School District.

“We had a total of seven teams. Two third-grade teams, two fourth-grade teams, two fifth-grade teams, and one CMS team. Students went through an application process to become a part of the team,” said Kamisha Siminoe, Sandrock principal.

Kuberry was one of two coaches and assisted the third-grade and CMS team while teacher Danielle Romero coached the forth and fifth-grade teams.

The VEX IQ Challenge Next Level is presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation to provides elementary and middle school students with open-ended robotics and research projects that challenge their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills.

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Moffat County combined Fifth through eighth-grade robotics teams. Pictured: Back row, from left, Sofia Vanzo, Shanley Byrnes, Brodie Wooden, Josefina Kuberry, Alyssa LeWarne, and Forrest Siminoe; Middle row, from left, Grady Martinez, Carson Haskins, Curtis Kuberry, Joel Drake, Annabelle Byrnes, Tyler Perkins, William Harms, Jesse Terry, and Brody Million; Front row, from left, Alexia Hayden, Kylie Lain, Autumn Fadling, Mason Sullivan, MaryAnn Booker, and Shanley Byrnes.

One of the students to participate was fifth-grader Maryann Booker, who learned about the competition during parent-teacher conferences at her school — Sandrock Elementary.

“I thought that we were going to make our own robots to fight each other. I was very intrigued,” she said.

Sandrock Elementary and Craig Middle School students practiced twice per week December through February.

“We built our robot, ‘Gerald,’ from a kit, but we weren’t able to modify it, because the competition was moved up 10 days,” Maryann said.

They worked for three hours on Super Bowl Sunday, and the third-grade boys team also spent time during lunch and recess through the course of three weeks to modify and program their robot.

“Students worked very hard and did great at their first competition,” Kuberry said.

Kuberry added that parents also “stepped up and helped out,” ensuring students and robots were in the right places at the right time for each match.

During the competition, games are played on a four-by eight-foot field. The object was to attain the highest score by using a robot to stack colored hubs in building zones, earn bonus hubs by removing them from a hanging structure, and parking or hanging hubs on the hanging structure.

Sandrock Elementary School and Craig Middle School students participated in the VEX IQ Rocky Mountain Rumble robotics competition held in Centennial on Feb. 9.

Students competed in the following three events.

• Robot and driving skills: During this event, one robot takes the field, and students drive the robot in an attempt to score as many points as possible in one minute by placing hubs in building zones. Teams had to switch drivers after 35 seconds. Students were allowed to complete the challenge many times before submitting their highest score.

• Programming skills: During this event, students had to use an autonomous robot, with limited human interaction, that had been programmed before the start of the competition to complete tasks to score points in the game.

• Teamwork challenge: During this event, students were paired with another team to form an alliance of two robots that worked in collaboration to score as many hubs as possible in 60-second rounds. Students competed in six rounds to earn a final cumulative score.

“Dr. (David) Ulrich and Principal Kamisha Siminoe were able to attend the competition in Centennial. It was great to see them there and have the students know that what they were doing was important,” Kuberry said. “The students, parents, and coaches are all excited to continue the program and grow it next year.”

Maryann and her teammates are looking forward to future VEX IQ robotics competition and possibly participating in LegoRobots in sixth-grade.

Maryann Booker, her green team teammates, and their robot Gerald.

“The most exciting thing about the competition was our last round. We were paired with a team that had a modified robot. We came up with an extremely good strategy and stuck with it to earn 11 points, which was really good,” Maryann said.

Even though the competition was not a robot war, she stuck with it.

“For students interested in it, I definitely recommend it. At first, it’s challenging to get all the right parts and pieces, but it becomes amazingly fun when you get to drive the robot,” Maryann said. “It seemed like a great place to make friends, meet people, and make memories.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

Moffat County results from VEX IQ Rocky Mountain Rumble robotics competition

Teamwork challenge
(School or team, place, points) 

  • Craig Middle School, 8th, 57 
  • Yellow Team, 41st, 41
  • Orange Team, 30th, 38
  • Green Team, 45th, 34
  • Third-grade boys, 50th, 31
  • Third-grade girls, 51st, 30
  • Red Team, 55th, 24

Robotics skills and programming combined scores
(Grade or team, place)

  • Craig Middle School, 3
  • Third-grade boys, 25th
  • Green team, 30th
  • Red team, 3
  • Third-grade girls, 37th
  • Orange team, 41st
  • Red team, 49th