Mia – the new Girl Power Robot

STEM Robotics does a lot of community out reach. One of our areas of focus is getting more girls into STEM, specifically robotics. We try to have a buildable robot for them to use and take home with them.

The people at the Robot Education Foundation with the Girl Scouts have created “Mia”. We will be using Mia in all of our outreach. There are about 140 pieces and takes about an hour to assemble. Mia is rubber band powered and goes about 10-12 feet.

If you are interested in sponsoring a program (especially if you are a Girl Scout leader) please contact Foster Schucker. (The parts are pretty small, so you should target for 4th graders up and estimate about a 90 min session).

Delmarva Extravaganza Results

The phrase “3 – 2 – 1 Go!” rang out 318 times in the Springer Middle School on Saturday March 23 as 163 Roboteers played “Next Level” with their VEXIQ robots. The event is the largest robotics event in the Delmarva area. Teams came from the nine elementary schools in the Brandywine School District, New Castle County Libraries Robotics programs, Charter School of New Castle and a home schooled team.

The event started at 9AM with Foster Schucker, Chief Roboteer of STEM Robotics welcoming everyone to the event. Kristin Haroldsdottir, William Savage, Zoe Rawheiser, all sophomore clarinetist at Mt Pleasant High School played the Star Spangled Banner. Josh Lesser the Science Division announcer introduced State Representatives Debra Heffernan and Krista Giffith along with State Senator Laura Sturgeon, who all gave short remarks about the importance of STEM programs.

In honor of Women’s History Month, all 8 of the fields were named after famous women in Science (see below).

Promptly at 9:30 AM dual “3 – 2 – 1 Go” started off the qualification rounds in the Science and Math divisions. Each team would play 14 qualification matches across the day. Teams are paired randomly and with 14 matches robots get to play with a wide variety of teams.

Mid-morning, Delaware Governor John Carney arrived and spent the next two hours talking to roboteers and parents. He watched quite a few teams play and said he was impressed with the skills on display.

Throughout the day John Penrod from the Delaware State police demoed their Bomb Robot. It’s very agile, it was able to reach up and stack hubs on the field. Very deft handling. The roboteers were enthralled with the demos that he did on moving around and picking things up.

Roboteers were not the only people showing their best, the Springer Family Association served up an amazing variety of foods from hotdogs, mac & cheese, cheese fries, pizza with a huge selection of drinks, snacks and candy.

After lunch the roboteers played another 74 total matches as they battled to become the best teams in their divisions. Repairs were made, improvements were added and driving skills got better as the day continued.

Senator Tom Carper arrived to kick off the finals rounds at 2:30 PM. The top 20 teams representing both Math and Science Divisions were paired off with a final chance to prove they were the best.

Tournament Teamwork Awards — Final Standings

  • Teamwork Champions: Claymont Tesla, Claymont Boeing – 23 Points
  • Teamwork Second Place: Lombardy Tesla, Hanby Beetles – 16 Points
  • Teamwork Third Place: Claymont Kaloke, Lombardy Google – 15 Points
  • Teamwork Fourth Place: Rt 9 Libary Savage,Lanashire Gazelles – 13 Points
  • Teamwork Fifth Place: Lancashire Big Termites, Forwood Octopus – 12 Points
  • Teamwork Sixth Place: Lombardy Amazon, Carrcroft Tiny Turtles, Claymont MIT, Claymont Pixar, Maple Lane Rocky, Rt 9 Library Newton
  • Teamwork Ninth Place: Forwood Sharks, Mt Pleasant Bomb Squad
  • Teamwork Tenth Place: Mt Pleasant Slim Shady, Mt Pleasant Fluffy Unicorns

(A note, Claymont Kaloke and Lancashire Google robots were ranked in ninth place before their amazing leap to third place!)

At the end of the finals, Senator Carper got a driving lesson from the two Delaware Teams that are going to the VEXIQ World Championship in April 2019. He drove with Noah, Ellington, Anthony and Aarush. He managed to score the all important 4 point High Hang! Good luck to Claymont Boeing and Claymont Tesla at Worlds!

Other Awards that were given out at the Extravaganza:

  • Amaze Award: The all girl Hanby Hornets showcased their unique lift linkage and 3 motor H-Drive. The H-drive gives “Hornet” the ability to move left and right without turning
  • Build Award: Claymont Lenovo caught the judges eye with their 4 bar arm that was coupled with a scoop that would wrangle two of the Hubs
  • Volunteer of the Year: Stacy Karpinski – Stacy has been a key person in planning for smaller events like PS DuPont VIQ, the dual High School and Middle School VRC event, along with planning and execution of the showcase Delmarva Extravaganza!

This is the second year for the Delmarva Extravaganza, the event keeps getting better and better. Lot of people helped:

  • Event Planning: Stacy Karpinski, Michelle Kutch, Jackie Chesworth, Omar Reid and Foster Schucker
  • Division Management: John Kain, Steve Rhoads – Math Division, Heather Handler, Foster Schucker – Science Division
  • Event Announcers: Josh Lesser – Science and Finals, Paul Kutch – Math
  • Springer Middle School: Tracy Woodson and Omar Reid
  • Friday night setup: Will Elmore, Louis Mays, Khawja Ahmed, Abu Shaeed, Linc Hohler
  • Saturday support and cleanup: Will Elmore, Ted Marakowski, Khawja Ahmed, Armuda Armuda, Linc Hohler
  • Queue managers: Honor Society Students from Mt Pleasant, Concord, and PS DuPont
  • Volunteer food: Brandywine High Culinary Arts Students (Note from the author, this is the first event where the food was amazing. Bagels with smears, and juice for breakfast, lunch of three kinds of cold cuts, cheeses, amazing rolls, chips, cookies and drinks!!)
  • Scorekeepers and Referees: Jason Heller, Chris Lake, Donna Janicki, Marissa Janicki, Becky Glenn, Zack Flowers, Matt Janicki, Ruthanne Dion, Daniel dePersia, Mairi Moore
  • Event Support Team: Kay Hossler, Patty Staker, Greg Xenakes, Joni Ciolko, Dana Geisenbeger, Jen Xenakes, Kay Hossler, John DeSilva, Ann Hall Netferdorf, Michelle Hossler
  • VIP escorts: Mark Holodick- Superintendent, Cora Scott, Director of Elementary Education and Cary Riches, Director of Curriculum
  • Scoring, event management hardware and computers: STEM Robotics
  • Last moment Assembly and fixing stuff we forgot: Linc Hohler

Thanks to all the parents, teachers and librarians that mentored teams this year, it’s a very long 6 month season. You are making a huge difference to the roboteers.

A super thanks for all the parent that came to the event and got your roboteer from build sessions and to the many events. (Each team played at 3 events, some played at 4). Without your support there would not be a robotics program.

Field names:

  • Rebecca Lee Crumpler — First African American Female to Earn an MD
  • Katherine Johnson — Math wizard NASA Apollo Mission, was key in figuring out the orbital dynamics
  • Mae Carol Jemison — American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
  • Rosalind Franklin — English chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, and viruses
  • Ada Lovelace — English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine.
  • Chien-Shinug Wu — Chinese-American experimental physicist who made significant contributions in the field of nuclear physics. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, where she helped develop the process for separating uranium metal into uranium-235 and uranium-238 isotopes by gaseous diffusion.
  • Dian Fossey — American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups starting in 1966. She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda.
  • Grace Hopper — American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first languages COBOL.

Delmarva VEXIQ Extravaganza

The Brandywine School District will host the largest VEX IQ robotics tournament on the Delmarva Peninsula this weekend, bringing together teams from school districts in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania as well as Delaware Library Maker Space teams. Of the 49 teams that are scheduled to participate, 38 are from BSD’s nine elementary schools.

The VEXIQ Extravaganza tournament will be held at Springer Middle School, 2220 Shipley Road in Wilmington, on Saturday, March 23. The first match will begin at 9 a.m., and the finals should be held at approximately 2:45-3:00 p.m., with awards following at 3:30 p.m. Approximately 200 students, most in grades 4 and 5, will compete.

Two very special guests will join the roboteers on Saturday. Governor John Carney is scheduled to visit at 11 a.m. to mingle with the students during competition and offer words of encouragement. At 2:45 p.m., U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester will pay a visit. Prior to the final match of the tournament, she and Cora Scott, BSD Executive Director of Elementary Education, will pair up to play a Teamwork Challenge match against the top-scoring student team as a way to encourage more young women to pursue studies, hobbies, and careers in STEM-related fields. As neither the Congresswoman nor Ms. Scott have any VEX robotics experience, they will receive a short tutorial from students prior to their match.

VEX IQ is the elementary arm of VEX Robotics. Teams of students build robots using the engineering design process: Ask (identify and research a problem), Imagine (develop possible solutions), Plan (select a promising solution), Create (build and test a prototype), and Improve (redesign as needed). The student-built robots are then put to the test in competition. This year’s challenge is called Next Level and involves alliances of teams working together to move and stack pieces on a large playing board to earn points, as well as a timed robot skills challenge.

The Brandywine School District introduced VEX IQ programming in 2017. Students that participated benefited from improved mathematics performance, increased classroom focus, and positive behavior. The following year, the program doubled in size. All Brandywine School District elementary buildings have a robotics program that is supported by teachers, parents, and administrators. BSD’s program is now the largest VEX IQ program in the State of Delaware. Three BSD teams have qualified for the VEX World Championships this spring – two from Claymont Elementary School and one from Springer Middle School.

Delmarva Regional Championship Turning Point Results

High School Division
Going to the World Championship

  • Excellence Award – 9020A Cape Henlopen Cape Henlopen High School
  • Tournament Champions – 3389E Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
  • Tournament Champions – 3389C TEC-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club

Other Awards

  • Tournament Finalists – 9020A Cape Henlopen Cape Henlopen High School
  • Tournament Finalists – 28724X WNA Maroon West Nottingham Academy
  • Design Award – 3348B Indians Indian River High School
  • Judges Award – 17258B Brandywine Brandywine High School
  • Robot Skills Champion – 3389E Tec-Tigers Wicomico County Robotics Club
  • Volunteer of the Year – John Kain – Mount Pleasant High School

  • Middle School Division
    Going to the World Championship

    • Excellence Award – 90967F Springer F – Mickey Bean Springer Middle School

    Other Awards

    • Tournament Champions – 8475C Caspian Tigers Talley Middle School
    • Tournament Champions – 8475A Asian Tigers Talley Middle School
    • Tournament Finalists – 8890C IronRAMS C John Dickinson Middle School
    • Tournament Finalists – 8890D IronRAMS D John Dickinson Middle School
    • Design Award – 9296B Rocketeers Selbyville Middle School
    • Judges Award – 4333A Dopple P.S. duPont Middle School
    • Robot Skills Champion – 9296B Rocketeers Selbyville Middle School
    • Mentor of the Year – Jason Heller – Talley Middle School

    A great article with a video can be found here

SuperBOT Saturday Next Level Results

This is from the letter that went out to all the participants

We would like to thank all coaches/teams/parents for making the 2018-19 Superbot Saturday / Delmarva Regional Vex IQ Elementary & Middle School Championships a success. A great deal of time and effort went into the planning and preparation of the event, but without the enthusiasm, sportsmanship and cooperation of all the participants, it would not have been the success it was. Thanks again!

A total of 310 matches (whew!) were completed at Superbot Saturday. All 171 scheduled Alliance matches (132 elementary/39 middle) were completed. Additionally, teams participated in 139(105 elementary/34 middle) driver skills matches. A noteworthy trend is the yearly increase in the number of autonomous skills matches. From the first year with 1 or 2 attempts, to approximately 3 or 4 last year, autonomous matches soared to 44 matches this year. All coaches should be congratulated for promoting programming with their teams.

Congratulations to these teams going to the VIQ Elementary School Worlds

  • Excellence Award 19968E HOB Vikings Robotics
  • Teamwork Champion Award 23B Claymont Boeing
  • Teamwork Champion Award 23T Claymont Tesla

Congratulations to the Excellence Award winner 50100A Dark Side Robotics, they are going to the VIQ Middle School Worlds.

Link to full event info on Robotevents

Several media outlets were covering the event. The links below are to two of the local television stations broadcasted stories:

Our goal is for the tournament to continue to expand and develop in future years. Robotics is proving to be an awesome opportunity for students, and events like this generate even greater student excitement and involvement. Please communicate with us any comments, suggestions, and ideas; positive and constructive, to help us continue to improve the Superbot Saturday experience.

A quick shout-out to all the wonderful volunteers that helped run SBS. About 35 students from Sussex Central High School, Indian River High School, and SAS helped referee and man the fields. We could not have done it without them. They were encouraging and enjoyed working with our students! We also had a terrific group of Judges and parents that volunteered their time.

Coaches also need to be congratulated for the sportsmanship displayed throughout the tournament. From teams sharing parts and giving a helping hand to other teams, to the way the students worked together with other students they had never met before, cooperation and sportsmanship was evident throughout the event. It is our hope that robotics programs help to develop sportsmanship as a core trait of our students, and coaches need to be commended on the way the students behaved at Superbot Saturday.

Finally, congratulations to all teams that competed in the Superbot Saturday/Delmarva Regional Championships. It was a wonderful event because of you and hopefully your teams had an enjoyable experience. We hope to see you at the event again next year when it will be bigger and better. Best of luck to the 4 teams that qualified for the Vex IQ World Championship next month in Kentucky, we know you will represent Delmarva well!