Fri11282014

Schools

Local robotics team scores Excellence Award


s team members, from left, Barrett Greaves, Jack Marquez, Robbie Kalb, Timmy Beckmann, Harrison Tang and Hannah Athey celebrate their victory.

The Green MacHHHHine robotics team, with members from Mountain View High School, won the Excellence Award for its division at the VEX Robotics High School World Championships last month at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The team finished seventh in the qualifying rounds, allowing them to advance to the quarterfinals. Nearly 700 teams, including middle schools and colleges, from 24 countries participated. The 420 high school teams were divided into five divisions.

The Excellence Award, the highest honor presented in the VEX Robotics competition, demands extensive auxiliary work in addition to building a high-performing robot. The Green MacHHHHine made presentations at elementary schools and community events, participated in judges interviews and produced a team website, essays, a promotion video, an animation video of a proposed new game, a design notebook maintained throughout the season, graphics and logos for the banner, buttons and T-shirts.

Vex Robotics allows an iterative design process. The team began brainstorming approaches last summer, and then designed, built and tested the robot throughout the year. Team members attended three different tournaments prior to the World Championships, enabling them to learn from their competitors, form alliances and refine their design.

The Green MacHHHHine includes Jack Marquez (Mountain View High senior), Barrett Greaves (Mountain View High senior), captain Robbie Kalb (Mountain View High junior), Hannah Athey (Mountain View High sophomore), Timmy Beckmann (Homestead High junior) and Harrison Tang (homeschooled eighth-grader).

Mountain View High School will offer a new robotics class next year. District officials said they hoped that several Mountain View High teams would participate at next year’s competition.

For more information, visit greenmachhhhine.com.

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