Ridgeview Elementary students work their way through robotics program to state qualification | CraigDailyPress.com

Ridgeview Elementary students work their way through robotics program to state qualification

Members of Ridgeview Elementary School's VEX IQ Robotics program display their letters for state qualification. The teams Triple Threat and Shark Hunters qualified for the state championships, though the event was canceled this week.
Courtesy Photo

Despite their latest competition being shut down, the members of Ridgeview Elementary School’s robotics program have a lot to be proud of this season.

As part of VEX IQ Robotics, Ridgeview saw two of its three teams qualify for the state level after recent contests.

The group Triple Threat — consisting of Curtis Kuberry, Yahir Alonso, Kainen Verberg and Indy Mayer — won the teamwork challenge at a middle school tournament in Commerce City in February, which moved them along to state, ranking sixth.

A second team, Shark Hunters — including Andrew Johnson, Nate Stehle, Carson Lytle, and Carson Sharp — qualified for state with a 22nd place ranking due to their status in the skills category.

Ridgeview’s third team Big Brain, did not quite qualify for the competition.

Ridgeview also hosted its own tournament in February with Sandrock Elementary teams competing as well as students from Montrose.

The VEX IQ State Championships were scheduled to take place Saturday, March 14 in Erie, but organizers announced this week that the event is canceled due to COVID-19 precautions, in line with multiple schedule changes for educational and athletic activities for all age levels in Colorado.

“We are disappointed but we will buckle down even harder next year  These kids all worked so hard, we have practiced every day before school and at lunch as well as our regular after school practice,” said Ridgeview instructor Rhonda Counts.

Counts noted that the program has several students who will be able to return to robotics next year, with potential to expand to more schools on the Western Slope.

“The main thing is the students have learned to be problem-solvers, from the big problem of creating the robot to fine-tuning each of its parts to do specific jobs,” she said. “It’s such a valuable experience.”

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