Centres of VEX-cellence dominate UK National Final

20/03/2014| Rapid News

The third VEX Robotics UK National Championships was a resounding success, with 40 teams from 27 schools battling it out over two days and 150 matches to be crowned UK Champions. The competition took place at The Big Bang Fair at the Birmingham NEC.

The winning alliance was composed of three teams considered pre-tournament favourites: ‘Virus Robotics’ and ‘Volt Robotics’ from East Barnet School in North London and ‘3116 Team Control Freaks’ from the John Warner School in Hertfordshire. These schools have become unofficial centres of VEX-cellence in recent years, and it was no surprise to see them do so well in the competition. But the beauty of VEX is that no one ever stops learning or collaborating, so teams making their debuts this year, like Tanfield school in County Durham or Nagle Community College from Cork, could easily be leading the pack in a couple of years.

The three winning teams now qualify for the prestigious VEX World Championships in California next month, along with the three teams they beat in the final match of the competition: ‘XLR8’ and ‘The Green Team’ from Nottingham High School and ‘3116B Team Control Freaks’ from East Barnet School. The two Nottingham schools also scooped a number of other awards, including the Excellence, Programming Skills, Robot Skills and Design Awards.

The name of this year’s competition was ‘Toss Up’, with teams challenged to design robots which could pick up and deposit two different sized balls into separate scoring zones. Additional points were awarded for robots which could hang from a 40″ coloured bar at the end of the match either with or without balls.  Competition was intense throughout, and an incredible atmosphere was created in the VEX arena, particularly during the final rounds of matches.

The full list of awards presented at the UK National Final:

  • Excellence Award – The Green Team, Nottingham High School
  • Programming Skills – XLR8, Nottingham High School
  • Robot Skills – XLR8, Nottingham High School
  • Amaze Award – EHS Robotics Titan, Evesham High School
  • Build Award – Olavian Robotics, St Olaves Grammar School
  • Create Award – EHS Robotics Tangent, Evesham High School
  • Design Award – The Green Team, Nottingham High School
  • Innovate Award – QEGS VEX, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School
  • Judges Award – GLaDOS, The Gilberd School
  • Think Award – Kenilworth Robotics, Kenilworth School
  • Volunteer of the Year – Dave & Jenny Smith
  • Teacher of the Year – Jon Taylor & Andy Thomson
  • Partner of the Year – National Grid

As the UK distributor of the VEX robotics platform, Rapid again helped to co-ordinate the competition at a Regional and National level. In collaboration with  VEX Robotics and its sponsorship partners National Grid, members of our Education team demonstrated the VEX system at the Big Bang Fair. They showed pupils, teachers and employers how the system can develop key skills in programming and engineering.

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