For the first time ever, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School’s Middle School qualified for the State Vex Robotics Championship Tournament, and sent two teams to represent the school at Jacksonville State University on March 4, 2017.
Arthur Murray, the only High School student in the MCPS Robotics program to go, went in the capacity as an event coordinator, showing the Middle School students the ropes and . Special thanks to Arthur for all he did to help the Middle School students at this event.
The Middle School students to compete in the State Tournament were: Catherine Aaron, Christopher Lathram, James Yorton, Brandon Hinkley, Roger Holmes, Jacob Talbot, Margaret Turner, Titus Franklin, Henry Holzimmer, Casey Williams and team members that were unable to attend Aiden Cochran, Andres Lemuz, Alexandria Thurman and Erica Blackburn. High school freshman, Arthur Murray acted as the team’s event coordinator, helping to mentor his MCPS Middle School team mates by showing them the ropes, making sure they stayed on schedule and assisted them in their acclimation to how these upper level tournaments worked.
The competition occurred in three areas as is normal for most of the regular competitions.
The design competition which consists of a judges interview and review of your engineering workbook. Montgomery Catholic did exceptionally well in the interview portion of the design competition. Led by Margaret Turner, a three week veteran of the robotics team, she took her role seriously and it paid off as the team was complimented on their first appearance in this event.
The second area to be judged was the skills competition. The Skills Challenge consists of a programing section, where the robot executes pre-programmed functions for points, and a driver section where the driver demonstrates his or her skills to attain points. Montgomery Catholic’s robot 8128P finished eighth of 47 teams at state, with a total of 32 points (22 Driver & 10 Programming), and Montgomery Catholic’s robot 8128S finished # 23 out of 47 teams at state with 12 points (All Driver points). This is the first time MCPS has scored any programming points at all, and the first time finishing in the top 10 in this area. Typically doing well in the past against other middle school teams, but this competition includes 40 high school teams and seven middle school teams that qualified for state.
The final portion of the competition was the head to head competition. 8128P had an overall finish of #17 with a 4-2 record, and 8128S had an overall finish of #24 with a 3-3 record. Not bad at all considering the competition was the best of the best from the state, and this was Montgomery Catholic’s first year qualifying middle school teams.
Sponsors for the teams are Mr. Rob Russell and Dr. Joe Profio, who both expressed their enthusiasm for their students accomplishments at their first State Tournament. Montgomery Catholic looks forward to an expanding program and continued success in the future.