The HMS robotics club team, The Clipperbots, sent two robots to last weekend's VEX Robotics tournament at Erskine Academy in South Paris, ME. Our teams entered two of only three middle school robots competing with 28 high school teams.
The tournaments have two parts: Qualifying Matches and the Alliance Elimination Tournament. The qualifying rounds were a learning experience for our teams with some in the moment re-engineering and fine-tuning of driving skills.
Networking is also a big part of tournament play. One of our robots, 7318, met and impressed some top teams. Our team was chosen to be part of the alliance with the third-ranked team from Thornton Academy and was on the field for both wins in the best of three final matches, becoming one of the tournament champions!
Our other robot, 7318B, stood out as well. The judges noticed the team's continued resilience after a design flaw limited their productivity. The team actually wound up dismantling their robot, cutting off a portion of the front of it and then reassembling it in between qualifying rounds. The judges agreed that this was an amazing effort and awarded the group with the tournament's Sportsmanship Award.
Special thanks to our volunteer coaches, Rich Weinberg and Adam Moore; our sponsors, DeLorme and YEF (whose grant made entering two robots possible); and our parents - many of whom made the long drive to South Paris and stayed through the duration, a very long day on the bleachers!
Both HMS teams have been invited to next Saturday's VEX Maine State Championship at HampdenAcademy!