House of Science’s robotics team may be returning home from the 2016 VEX World Robotics Competition without a trophy, but the team members are holding their heads high as they were a force to be reckoned with at the annual event.
Held in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, USA, New Zealand was one of 37 countries partaking in the annual event. Divided into five divisions – science, technology, engineering, arts and maths – the competition was fierce, but House of Science proved themselves an early leader against 100 teams in the Maths Division.
After day one, the team – comprised of Dean Strydom, Sam Gillies-Smith, Callum McLeod and Kate Low – was already looking strong, finishing second in their division. Their first qualifying match was described as a “high scoring battle that came down to the wire”, but the four managed to clinch the win, and then went on to take the top spot in their next two qualifying matches for the day.
The success continued and although by the end of day two team 8757 had two narrow losses, they were still in the top 15 of their division and went on to the quarter finals in day three.
However, the competition didn’t go quite to plan as Dean had to add bits to the robot chassis to make it wide enough to be lifted by their alliance partner robot, followed by one of the alliance robots suffering motor and chain problems. A few setbacks didn’t put them off their stride; however it did see them eliminated from the competition.
House of Science director Chris Duggan was extremely impressed with how the team performed at Worlds and puts their success down to the team’s hard work and dedication.
“We’re really proud of the House of Science robotics team and their efforts at the World Champs. The students all behaved impeccably throughout the challenges and experience gained will be a great asset in future years.”
This is the second year that the House of Science team has been a fixture at the world competition, and Chris says having team members with that experience on their side certainly helped 8757 feel confident heading into the competition.
The team will be heading home to New Zealand this week, just in time to return to school when holidays end on May 2.
House of Science was established in 2013, to provide resources, educational opportunities and connect the local community through the power of science. It is supported through a generous partnership with Wright Family Foundation, who is committed to New Zealand education in all its forms and generously contributes to furthering the positive reach of the organisation.
House of Science would also like to thank Page Macrae Engineering, the Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, Higgins Contracting and Skinspots Skin Cancer Clinic for helping the team get to the USA.