Hagley STEMtastic “Squared Away” results

15 VEXIQ teams decended down to the banks of the Brandywine to the Hagley Museum on a frozen Delaware morning to play Squared Away. The event was part of Hagley’s STEMtastic weekends, an annual event (started as the Invention Convention) showcasing STEM activities.

Teams played on the third floor of this 1800’s historic building. They also got a chance to do the activities on the second floor. Roboters got a chance to disassemble computers, printers, even a 70’s AM/FM radio similar to what was in my college dorm room. There was also a chance to create a new invention and have a patent “granted”. Rohan, one of the Brandywine Hundred student volunteers, manned the STEM Robotics build table that let future roboteers build their own robots using VEXIQ parts.

Pizza was served thanks to Hagley, STEM Robotics and most importantly Joan B who picked up and delivered 38 pizzas and water for everybody. (Joan and her son are key members of Mt Pleasant High School robotics program.

This is the first event that we are seeing a movement away from the beginning “Clutch” robot. Today’s robots featured
* Mini claws to grab just an edge of a cube
* Front hooks that can lift cubes to the upper platforms
* Wide guides to allow cubes to be herded to the corners

Also there is more cross team strategy happening to create flows on a pretty full game board.


Tournament Winners:
Claymont Boeing
Claymont Google

Tournament Finalists:
Brandywine Hundred Library FLEXIQ
Harlan Raven

Team Orion for their flip lift arm that could grab cubes from either side of the robot
Brandywine Hundred Library BESJAY for their double threat ball and cube robot

(Thanks to our hosts at Hagley, with special thanks to Leigh Ann Scholtz for all her help coordinating our activities)

Today 15 robots attending this event:

Brandywine Hundred Library BESJAY
Brandywine Hundred Library FLEXIQ
Brandywine Hundred Library LIV
Brandywine Hundred Library Strawberry Pink Horse
Claymont Boeing
Claymont Google
Claymont Lenovo
Hanby Beetles
Hanby Hornet
Harlan Condor
Harlan Falcon
Harlan Phoenix
Harlan Raven
Lombardy Snow Tigers
Team Orion

Maple Lane “Squared Away” results

This seasons inaugural event for Squared Away was held at Maple Lane Elementary School.

Roboteers played 60 qualification matches and moved into the finals round.

Winners were
Team Maple Lane Gears and
Team Claymont Boeing with 37 points in the final match
Team Claymont IDEO
Team Claymont Lenovo with 22 points

IDEO had the high average for the event at 14 points.

Awards went to
Maple Lane Orange Grapes – Amaze Award for their teamwork and sportsmanship at the event.
Claymont Boeing – Build Award for their robot that could scoop up balls and also score the green cubes on the raised platform.

There were 15 teams at the Maple Lane event

Carrcroft Tiny Turtles
Carrcroft Komodo Dragons
Carrcroft Dominating Lizards
Carrcroft Slithering Snakes
Carrcroft Bearded Dragons
Claymont Boeing
Claymont Pixar
Claymont Tesla
Claymont Kaloke
Claymont Lenovo
Claymont Samsung
Claymont IDEO
Maple Lane Gears
Maple Lane Orange Grapes
Maple Lane Roboteers

West Nottingham Rams “Tower Takeover” results

West Nottingham Rams held their first VEX Robotics Competition at West Nottingham Academy on December 14th.

15 teams from all over Delmarva came from as far away as Salisbury MD to run in an early season event.

Qualification Rankings

397963TJC Patriots730144596
58903AMPHS A730142484
77135DLoyola Robotics5411130105
828724RWNA Azimuth5501015100
97135GLoyola Robotics45193386
1097963BJC Patriots45193092
137135ELoyola Robotics37061860
1428724AWNA PowerPuff19022154
1528724XWNA International Labor19021253

Excellence Award 3389E Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Tournament Champions 3389D TEC-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Tournament Champions 3389F Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Design Award 3389F Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Judges Award 7135D Loyola Robotics Loyola Blakefield
Robot Skills Champion 8903A MPHS A Mount Pleasant High School

Mt Pleasant “Tower Takeover” results

Mount Pleasant High School held the first Delmarva “Tower Takeover” event.

Thank you to all of the teams that participated. We’d like to take a moment to thank all of the volunteers that helped to make this tournament a success. Thank you to JROTC for supplying 10 cadets to help things run smoothly. They are always ready to help and very organized. Thank you to Springer Middle School for providing volunteers. Thank you to Joan and Jay Cotton. They helped to coordinate the whole tournament with concessions. Thank you to Jason Heller and John Cain for being refs. MPHS couldn’t have done this without all of the help that we received.

Qualification Results

11274BIgneous Robotics710142438
26967AAluminum Allies710141854
490967DSpringer D620122154
590967CSpringer C521112151
68903AMPHS A530103633
790967BSpringer B530102741
965101ASanford School44082148
1190967ASpringer A34171847
168903CMPHS C16132129
178903DMPHS D17021220


Excellence Award: 3389C TEC-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Design Award: 3389F Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
Tournament Champions: 1274B Igneous Robotics Igneous Robotics
Tournament Champions: 6967A WatchMojo Caesar Rodney High School
Tournament Finalists: 90967D The Vultures Springer Middle School
Tournament Finalists: 3389C TEC-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club

Delmarva Student and Mentor Workshop Oct 2019

There is a workshop scheduled for 26 of October for all Mentors and Roboteers. This is a chance to get caught up on the latest for the 2019-20 season and meet other teams from Delmarva.

Parkside High School – 1015 Beaglin Park Dr., Salisbury, MD 21804 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m

9:00 a.m. – Doors open/Check-in
9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Introduction
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Content specific instruction
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Lunch
12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Robot building troubleshooting/challenge
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Certificates/Closing remarks

There is a guest speaker planned from NASA.

For more info see the robot events invitation or contact Jenny Miles at jmiles@wcboe.org

Ideas for Squared Away

Schools are about to start and across Delmarva, that means that the rest of the robot teams are starting to spin up. A number of groups have met across the summer and there have been some summer camps.

This really good article about Squared Away covers some strategy details that will give some roboteers a running start on the season.

Every year, for every competition game, VEX designs a “Hero-bot”, a design that can play the basic game. The robot for Squared Away – Clutch looks the same as past years robots. A two motor, 4 wheel drive base, backbone, 4 bar linkage arm and a claw. This year the claw faces down to make it easy to manage the cubes. This year there is a height restriction on the robots, Clutch is able to stay under the line by the use of some pegs to keep the arm from moving too high.

Both the insights from Summer Camp and Clutch should give teams a running start for the 2019-2020 season.

Qualifying Criteria 2019

The 2019-2020 season qualifying criteria is available!

VRC Qualifying Criteria 2019-2020 can be downloaded. There are some important changes. Key this year has to do with the addition of new divisions. This means that Delmarva can send 3 teams from High School (same as last year) but now can send 3 teams from Middle School. This means for both groups the Excellence Award and Tournament Winners are eligible to go to Worlds!

The VEXIQ Qualifying Criteria 2019 shows the changes from last year. There is no change in the number of slots from 3 at the Elementary School level (Excellence and Tournament Winners) and the Middle School single Excellence Award winner.

If you are part of a VEX University team this years VEX U Qualifying Criteria is a must read. Changes to parts and what you can print this year are very important.

There are other things to be aware of, so take a quick read of the documents.

Event Partners Meeting 2019

Event Partners are the people that run the events in Delmarva. The annual Event Partner meeting was held on 13 August at Polytech High School in Camden Delaware. There were 11 partners present. The meeting was run by Dan Troy our local Regional Support Manager.

Last year had some good stats on the overall VEX programs

2018-2019240,000 Roboteers
24,000 Teams
25,000 Events
60+ Countries

And we did pretty well in Delmarva

VIQ Elementary School33
VIQ Middle School9
VRC Middle School27
VRC High School35

There is the possibility of grants this year:
Trailer Grants – there are two forms of this. First is a combination of a 15′ trailer, 4 fields, 4 elements, 4 displays, 4 Raspberry Pi, cables, routers, extension cords. This will require the recipient to prove insurance coverage on the trailer and proof that they have a vehicle that can tow it.

Second trailer is just the components, event partner will need to supply the trailer (or their own transportation)

Dan will check on if there is a similar version for VEX IQ (shooting for 6 fields)

Worlds Updates
2020 World Championship will be in Louisville KY. In 2021 the championship will move to Houston TX (2021-2024)

At the 2020 Championship the number of divisions will grow by 2. This will allow ~160 more teams to go to Worlds

New updates to the Code of Conduct will state that outside activity of roboteers will be counted during judging and egregious activity (hate mail to RECF staff as an example)

Referee Training
Referee Training is available on line. RECF is mandating the Head Referee take the training and be qualified. They may suggest that for Regional events that are Worlds Qualifier that all referees be qualified. Training is simple takes 20-30 minutes to do. https://certifications.vex.com You will need to create a new sign on to get into the testing. (Your VEX sign on does not carry over

Tournament Manager will have a link to the qualification data base so EP’s can check on the status of the certification.

The pilot program on returning judges comments that Foster ran in the 2018-2019 season. RECF has decided to put this on the back burner for 2019-20

RECF is suggesting that all teams should be interviewed by the judges. Interviews are to be done in the pits. Notebook judging and discussions should be done in a closed room. Judged awards should be decided by judges only (not EP) after the last qualifying match.

There is a new Volunteer management system to make it easier to help track what people are doing for you.

New rubric for this season with more categories, points are now 1-5, and you don’t need to award any points. This should make scoring the teams easier. There is now a 5 point bonus for having a bound notebook.

Other topics
STEM Research project to come out on August 15. It’s not required at all IQ events, but will be at the Regional Championship. They are working on a way to collect the video submissions.

For the 2020-21 the VEXIQ field will be increased from 4’x8′ to 6’x8′.

RoboticsEducation.org will be changing, so if you have deep links they will no longer work.

They are adding new resources for people to use. Check out their new STEM Labs portal! https://education.vex.com/

Squared Away

The size of the robot IS DIFFERENT THIS YEAR. Robots are now measured from the inside the wall. If you played last years game you have the parts to make this years sizing tool follow these instructions, if not this sizing tool is for sale

If you build Clutch, if you build it incorrectly it will be too tall to play the game.

Tower Takeover
Scoring in this game is complex, and it’s recommended that you get one of the scoring apps.

Unlimited expansion! Wall Bots are now legal!!

Raspberry Pi
Support for events using Raspberry Pi’s has gotten much better. Teams in Delmarva that want to use Raspberry Pi should contact our RSM – Dan or Foster from STEM Robotics for help. Foster has 9 Raspberry Pi’s and small monitors for field displays. VEX is looking at releasing LED “Hats” to allow LED lighting around the field perimeters that is controlled by the Raspberry Pi


Summer Robot Learning

It’s almost time for school!


VEX Robotics created STEM Labs as a supplemental educational resource. The purpose was to support educators with free, easy to follow STEM lesson plans that align with educational standards. Each STEM Lab contains hands-on lessons with guided explorations that encourage teamwork and collaboration.

There are both EDR and VIQ lessons, and lessons are also broken out by age levels. This is a great resource if you are looking for ways to build your team’s skills or if you want to improve your individual skills.

2019-2020 Game Release

The games for 2019-2020 were released at the end of the Worlds Championship. There are two exciting games this season

VEX IQ – Squared Away

The scoring objects in VEX IQ Challenge Squared Away are 3” diameter Balls and 7” Cubes. There are a total of (35) Balls and (7) Cubes on the field. The object of the game is to score as many points as possible with your alliance partner in one of two ways: by scoring Balls in or on Cubes, and by moving Cubes to their respective Scoring Zones.

Squared Away Game Manual

Squared Away Game Video

VEX VRC – Tower Takeover

There are sixty-six 66 Cubes on a Tower Takeover Field. Twenty-two (22) Green, twenty-two (22) Orange and, twenty-two (22) Purple. There are also seven (7) Towers placed around the field. Five (5) of these are neutral, with the remaining two being alliance specific. Alliance specific Towers may only be utilized by robots of the same alliance.

Cubes can be Placed in Towers, or Scored in Goals. Cubes are worth at least 1 point when Placed in a Goal Zone. The exact value of each cube is determined by how many Cubes of that specific color have been Placed in Towers. When Cubes are Placed in or removed from Towers, the new values apply to ALL cubes. So the actions of one Robot will impact the potential score for both their own alliance, and their opponents.

The alliance that scores more points in the Autonomous period is awarded with (6) bonus points, added to the final score at the end of the match. The Alliance who wins this Autonomous Bonus is also awarded 2 purple cubes, which may be introduced at any time during the driver control period.

Tower Takeover Game Manual

Tower Takeover Game Video