VEX World Championships - Mid-Pacific Institute

Middle School News

VEX World Championships

Mid-Pacific 19th in the Middle School division amongst 1,072 teams from 31 countries and 36 states.

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Scot Allen

Mid-Pacific sixth graders Kaitlyn Dote and Shayna Nakamura (competing as team 96822A) participated in the 2016 VEX World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky April 20-23.

1,072 teams from 31 countries and 36 U.S. states competed, setting a world record for the largest robotics competition according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The event began with the parade of nations that was reminiscent of an Olympic Games opening ceremony.

"The VEX Worlds was like the Super Bowl for robots," said Mid-Pacific Chief Innovation Officer Brian Dote, team coach and father to Kaitlyn. "The ambiance reminded me of a rock concert!"

In order to qualify for this event, the girls finished the season with a top 30 World Ranking. At the Pearlridge competition, the students finished 24th in the Programming Skills section of the competition, in which the robot drives autonomously and scores as many points as possible without a human driver.

At Worlds, the girls continued their success in programming skills with a strong finish and final world ranking of 19th in the middle school division.

This competition was a truly unique opportunity for students to meet, work with, strategize, and drive with teams from across the globe. The Mid-Pacific team was paired with several international teams, including Mexico and Paraguay. The competition is structured around three sections: team driving, robot skills and programming skills.

Through preparing for - and participating -- in these competitions, students learned the principles of engineering, learned to work with other teams through collaboration and communication, developed their programming skills by using "Robot C," and, of course, developed time management and organizational skills as they progressed.

"We look forward to competing in the 2016-17 season with our eyes set on another trip to Worlds. Congratulations to all the teams that competed in this amazing event. I would like to thank everyone who supported, mentored, and helped the girls reach Worlds this year," Dote said. "A special mahalo to Peter Park, the team's coach and mentor, without whom none of this would have been possible. Having attended and watched our students compete at Worlds has inspired me to continue to promote robotics, engineering, and programmatic thinking all across campus. The perfect encapsulation of our Mid-Pacific technology vision! It is a rewarding endeavor in so many ways."