CARBONDALE (WSIL) — Emotions were high as nearly 30 teams took to the high school gym; Not for volleyball or basketball, but for robots.
Teams from 14 high schools throughout the state were competing in the 2020 VEX Robotics Competition.
This is the 7th year that the school has hosted the event and “Tower Takeover” was the theme.
Competitors had to gather as many cubes as possible in a set amount of time and stack them.
Industrial Technologies Teacher Dallas Terry says the theme changes to challenge team members.
“Each year they come up with new game elements and tasks that the robots have to do,” says the Carbondale teacher. “It’s still the same size field but it makes our students redesign and reconfigure.”
The robots come in kits and students have to figure out what function they want the technology to perform and code it to do so.
Terry adds that kids have fun while learning valuable skills that will follow them later in life.
“Obviously they’re getting some design and engineering skills; there’s a lot of math involved with this and to be able to figure out torque values they need to have to pick up some of the blocks,” he explains. “But some of that planning and time management, those are huge skills for employment in the future.”
Terry has been leading students in the competition for 13 years.
The winning teams will be moving onto the state championship, which will be held this year at Illinois State University