Ithaca VEX IQ Robotics Team Competes in World Competition This Spring
|UPDATE: On April 29, the ICSD VEX IQ Robotics Team 639E traveled to Dallas, TX, to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship, the largest robotics competition in the world. The team finished in fourth place out of 82 teams in their division! Congratulations and well done, Camille, Theo, Shai, Abraham, and Bohan!
The ICSD VEX IQ Robotics Team 639E is headed to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, from April 29 to May 3.
ICSD Technology and Engineering teachers Daniel Dorney, David Buchner, and Carson Case are thrilled to sponsor the first Ithaca VEX team to make it this far and participate in the largest robotics competition in the world.
While DeWitt, Boynton, and LACS are all part of the ICSD VEX IQ Robotics Team 639, only DeWitt’s 639E team qualified to attend the World VEX IQ competition. Five DeWitt students (7th graders Camille Lindbloom, Theo Bewley, and Shai Hagai and 8th graders Abraham Elia and Bohan Zhu) will travel with their teacher, David Buchner, to compete using their aptly named robot: Baked Potato.
The team has already competed and placed in state and regional competitions, and they feel “excited and nervous” about the Dallas competition scene. “We went through a lot of trial and error with the robot, and we’re the first VEX team to qualify for Worlds in Ithaca,” Theo said. “We have to miss school - unfortunately,” Shai added.
This is the second year that VEX IQ Robotics 639 is open to all ICSD middle school students. The team meets in the Ithaca High School cafeteria every Monday and often on Saturdays. Additionally, the VEX program requires a working logbook of the team’s findings, struggles, and triumphs - the DeWitt team’s notebook has grown to 104 pages.
The DeWitt Middle School Technology and Engineering Department has two extracurricular organizations: The Technology Student Association (TSA) chapter and the Ithaca VEX IQ Robotics Team 639, which competes at the state level through the VEX IQ platform.
VEX Robotics, part of the REC Foundation, is a company that inspires hands-on STEM projects in educational settings. The competition is played on a 6’ x 8’ rectangular field where two robots compete in the Teamwork Challenge as an alliance in 60-second-long teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points.Coach David Buchner, who has worked in the ICSD for 32 years, says this team is incredibly special. “I hope that some of the experiences I helped create will allow doors to open for them that wouldn’t necessarily have opened,” Buchner said. “All of these kids are going to be super successful - I always tell them that we’re looking for the next ‘fuel source’ or the next thing that will build the future. Today it’s robotics, tomorrow it may be something else, but these kids are going to make it happen.”