Several middle school and high school students from Michigan will be heading to Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort next month — but not for spring break. They will be competing in the VEX Robotics World Championship.

On Feb. 26, 20 high school teams and five middle school teams competed in the VEX Spartan Robotics Challenge held on the Michigan State University campus. Now, the winning teams will be heading to Florida for the VEX Robotics World Championship, April 14-16, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a 220-acre sports center at Walt Disney World Resort.

The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. Using the VEX Robotics Design System, students build innovative robots and compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field. These projects encourage teamwork, leadership and the development of problem-solving skills.

The VEX Spartan Robotics program is sponsored by and mentored by MSU’s College of Engineering, Recruitment and K-12 Outreach.

Winning teams from the Feb. 26 tournament are the ThunderChickens, a high school team from Utica Community Schools, Sterling Heights; Get ‘Em Tigers, a George Washington Carver Academy middle-school team from Highland Park; and the VEX Raptors, Haslett Middle School, Haslett.

The Haslett Middle School team also won the Excellence Award, the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics Competition. The recipient of this award is a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a well-rounded VEX robotics program. Other teams winning awards at the Feb. 26 competition were: the Motorheads from DeWitt High School, Dewitt, for Robot Driving Skills; and Robots for Dummies, a middle school team from George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park, for Programming Skills.


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