Wallace State hosts VEX IQ robotics competitions

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Wallace State Computer Science Chair and event sponsor Terry Ayers, center, provides commentary as students from Barkley Bridge Elementary School and Alexandria Elementary School face off during the VEX IQ robotics competition held at the college Saturday, Jan. 13. (Wallace State)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — On Saturday, Jan. 13, Wallace State Community College welcomed 46 teams to campus for VEX IQ robotics competitions for elementary and middle school students.

Competitions were held in the Wellness Center practice gym, with hundreds of participants and spectators in attendance. 

“We have been hosting VEX Robotics events since 2019, and this will be our fifth year hosting elementary, middle and high school teams. The excitement of the competition is not just about the robots themselves, but also about the creativity and ingenuity each school brings to the table. Beyond just assembling a robot, these students are gaining valuable skills in teamwork and communication,” said Terry Ayers, chair of the Wallace State Computer Science program and sponsor of the WSCC STEM Club, which sponsored the event.

Students from Curry Middle School and Robert F. Bumpus Middle School compete at the VEX IQ robotics competition held at the Wallace State Community College Wellness Center Saturday, Jan. 13. (Wallace State)

VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed to provide opportunities to students in elementary and early middle school. The VEX IQ competitions, such as the recent event at Wallace State, serve as an avenue for young learners to explore the world of robotics through building and programming their own snap-together robots. These competitions cultivate teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills among students as they collaborate to build, program, and operate their creations in teams. In addition to the game competition, teams are also evaluated on criteria such as team interview, programming, robot design and engineering notebook.

Teams advancing to the state competitions to be held Feb. 16-17 at Auburn University include:

  • Excellence Award – Robert F. Bumpus Middle School (Bumpus MS Robobucs H)
  • Excellence Award – Barkley Bridge Elementary School (Donut Divas)

Other awards were presented to:

  • Teamwork Champion Award – F. E. Burleson Elementary School (Techno Tigers: Turbo)
  • Teamwork Champion Award – Barkley Bridge Elementary School (Code Crushers)
  • Teamwork 2nd Place Award – Barkley Bridge Elementary School (America’s Finest)
  • Teamwork 2nd Place Award – Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School (MCPS Team 1)
  • Design Award – Robert F. Bumpus Middle School (Bumpus MS Robobucs F)
  • Robot Skills Champion – Barkley Bridge Elementary School (Donut Divas)
  • Judges Award – F. E. Burleson Elementary School (Techno Tigers: Turbo)

Looking forward, Vex VRC competitions for late middle school and high school teams are scheduled for Feb. 3 at Wallace State Community College, with 41 teams registered. Winners of the Excellence Award at the event will also advance to the state competitions to be held Feb. 16-17 at Auburn University.

For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu or call 256-352-8000.

The course for the VEX IQ robotics competition included several different challenges for each team to complete to earn points. WSCC’s STEM Club hosted the competition Saturday, Jan. 13 for elementary and middle school students. Another competition will be held Feb. 3 for late middle school and high school students. (Wallace State)