Kids Battle It Out at Robotics Tournament

Competition Teaches Students About Science, Engineering and Teamwork

Dec. 11, 2009

Nearly 500 people attended last weekend’s robotics tournament hosted and supported by the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas to encourage kids to try their hand at building and operating robots in a friendly but competitive environment.

“We are excited to report that the Dec. 5th UT Dallas Fearless Engineering VEX Robotics Competition was a success by every standard we set,” said Jack Nelson, the competition organizer and a teacher at Apollo Junior High School in Richardson.

Nearly three dozen teams competed at the tournament, including 21 middle school teams and 13 high school teams from as far away as Austin. Six teams qualified for the VEX world championship next April.
“We had diversity in numbers,” Nelson added. “Those 34 teams were made up of 110 students plus dozens of mentors, coaches and assistant coaches helping them out. This included students as young as 10, plus nearly a quarter of the students were female, and almost half of the students were non-Caucasian.”
The event also featured participation by the Dallas and Plano bomb squads, which showed off their own robots.
“We could not have done this without the very generous donations of UT Dallas, the U.S. Navy and a grant from the Native American Family Technology Journey,” Nelson concluded.

VEX Robotics sponsors numerous tournaments that use its robotics platform to teach students about science and engineering principles, teamwork and group problem-solving.

Robotics Competition Results

Excellence Award
AISD Team 2158B

Tournament Champions
AISD Team 2158E
AISD Team 2158F
Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas Team 2848B

Tournament Finalists
Lake Highlands Freshman Center Team 1461A
Hudson Middle School Team 1545E
Apollo Junior High School Team 888C

Judges Award
Lake Highlands Freshman Center Team 1461A
Apollo Junior High School Team 888B

Robot Skills Winner
Berkner STEM Academy Team 136S          

Programming Skills Winner
Berkner STEM Academy Team 136M

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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Girls with a robot

Two students prepare to enter their robot in the fray.

At right: A student makes last-minute adjustments to his team’s entry.

  Boy building a robot

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May 23, 2018