Starstruck Robots Compete for World Competition Berth
The Maine VEX Championship will take place on February 18th at Hampden Academy in Hampden, ME. Admission is free and open to the public. High School and Middle School teams from across the state have been competing since October to earn a coveted spot in this 50 team competition. The top seven teams will go on to the VEX World Championship in Louisville, KY in April.
The Robotics Institute of Maine (RIM) has been hosting seven qualifying tournaments through the state since October. 97 teams comprised of over 1,000 students from around the state have been building, strategizing and programming their robots to compete. Qualification rounds begin at 9am with the Elimination Rounds starting around 2pm.
Starstruck is played on a 12 x 12 foot field. Alliances of two teams are randomly selected to play a 2 minute match. Each match begins with a 15 second autonomous mode (pre-programmed commands written by the students) followed by a 1:45 minute Student Driver Mode. The objective is to score more than the other Alliance by placing Stars and Cubes within certain Zones and by Hanging Robots on a Hanging Bar. The game is fast paced with major scoring changes happening quickly.
RIM is a non-profit dedicated to engaging more Maine students in competitive robotics as a way to inspire them toward studies and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Karen Giles, RIM Director, states “competitive robotics brings together engineering, programming, leadership skills and project management in an exciting and fun format. We hope to inspire these students to ultimately help fill the current gap in Maine’s technical workforce. “
University of Maine, College of Engineering students and their Black Bear Robotics Club assist in running these events along with many community volunteers.
VEX Robotics continues to be the fastest growing robotics program in the world with over 16,000 teams and 1300 competitions worldwide. With ties to the REC Foundation, students are engaged in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs.
FMI: Karen Giles, email@example.com, 207-542-4086
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