GA's Middle School Robotics Team spent the first day of spring break at the VEX IQ CT State Championship in Plainville, CT.
Seven GA teams competed in the 54-team tournament, but due to scheduling conflicts, only one team had all its members present for the competition. Still, having put in five month of work designing, building, and testing their robots, and with two qualifiers under their belts, the teams were ready to contend for CT state titles.
At the tournament, teams competed in both remote-controlled and pre-programmed challenges that they had practiced in the Engineering & Design lab back on campus. And while day-long competitions of this nature have their ups and down, the girls were ready for it all—they fixed broken robots on the fly, bounced back from less than perfect runs, and handled victories, big and small, with grace.
At day's end, GA came away with some impressive hardware. The Group V team was named the CT state champion of their division, and one of the Group VIII teams won the STEM Research Project Award for their project explaining how math can be used to improve our lives. Both have earned a berth at the VEX IQ world championships taking place in Louisville, KY in April.
For the girls, the highlight of the day came when their faculty advisor, Doug Rendell, was given the Teacher of the Year Award. This announcement was greeted with wild cheers from the GA team. While this is only GA's second year competing in the VEX IQ circuit, Rendell has been leading GA's Middle and Upper School Robotics Programs since their inception in 2009. He also teaches Middle School science, having previously taught Lower School science for several years. And as his students and robotics teams will tell you, this Teacher of the Year Award is richly deserved.
Congratulations to the GA Middle School Robotics Program!