EAST LANSING—A high school robotics team from Grandville High School won the coveted VEX Robotics Excellence Award and is part of a two-team alliance that took top honors at the 2020 Michigan VEX Robotics State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 23 at Michigan State University.
Cataclyst (Team 288A) of Grandville High School and Q (Team 8031E) of Hudsonville High School are headed to the national VEX Robotics finals after being named Michigan’s tournament champions during ceremonies in Jenison Field House.
Eighty high school teams from Michigan’s lower peninsula competed at this year’s state tourney, each working for the right to represent Michigan in the 2020 VEX Robotics World Games in Louisville, Ky., April 22-25. Championship contests for middle school teams are at Monroe Community College.
In all, around 500 Michigan high school robotic masters attended the championship tournament in MSU’s Jenison Field House.
The 2020 MSU VEX High School State Championship results are:
Excellence Award: Cataclyst (Team 288A), Grandville High School
Tournament Champions: A two-team alliance of Cataclyst (Team 288A), Grandville High School and Q (Team 8031E) of Hudsonville High School
Innovate Award: VIRUS: Murphy’s Law (Team 3547Y), Technology First of Monroe
Create Award: Semi-Good (Team 98271B), Caledonia High School
Amaze Award: The A Team (Team 244D), Grandville Community Education
Build Award: Light Switch (Team 248A), Grandville Robotics
Design Award: MO’ Peeps (Team 1375D), Carman-Ainsworth High School, Flint
Think Award: Pi IS 3 (Team 7567C), Grand Traverse Academy
Judges Award: Pirates (Team 15017D), Harbor Beach High School
Robot Skills Champion: Just Act Natural (Team 244C), Grandville Community Education
Tournament Finalists: Just Act Natural (Team 244C), Grandville Community Education, and The A Team (Team 244D), Grandville Community Education
Tournament Semifinalists: Bring Back D.D. (Team 244B), Grandville Community Education; Light Switch (Team 248A), Grandville Robotics; Falcon (Team 98725B), Rochester Hills Christian School; and … (Team 39A), Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills
Drew Kim, assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship and K-12 outreach in the MSU College of Engineering, said a lot of energy and skill goes into each VEX Robotics team.
“VEX introduces students to basic robot innovation, working together, troubleshooting, and team fun,” Kim said. “MSU is very proud to nurture these young engineers and designers for Michigan’s technology future.”
Bob Watson, K-12 outreach and robotics coordinator for MSU Engineering, said teams began qualifying at local tournaments in October.
“Teams that win at the local tournaments then qualify for the Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships and the right to join about 1,500 teams at world games,” Watson said.
This year’s participants have built innovative robots to compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field. This year’s game, VEX Tower Takeover, uses 66 colorful cubes on a Tower Takeover Field. Twenty-two cubes are green, 22 are orange, and 22 are purple. Towers are placed around the playing field, where players get points by piling the cubes onto the towers or placing them in a goal. Two alliances, made up of two teams each, compete in qualifying matches during timed matches.