By Mr. Stephen Whitfield
The Upper School Robotics team made MVA history by attending the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, a first for the Academy. On April 25, team 19122 A-Biohazard, Annabelle Pasiecki, Isabella Jones, Ismael Ramirez, and Tommy Huynh, flew out early in the morning excited to compete.
Upon arrival, we departed for the venue and spent the first day setting up our pit area, getting the robot ready for competition, taking part in all the exciting things offered at the tournament, and chatting with students from around the world. We spoke with students from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Columbia, Puerto Rico, China, Morocco, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and many others. The first day ended with the opening ceremony including a parade of nations. Over 20,000 teams were registered around the world, but only 811 were invited to the World Championship for the 2022-23 season, putting MVA in the top four percent of teams in the world.
The second day competition got started as qualifications began. All of April 26 was spent in qualification matches as students talked strategy, scouted enemy robots, and conversed with their alliance members. The team built a close connection with the team next to us from Azerbaijan, being offered food from their country, as well as discussing the country and robotics over there. As the day wrapped up, we departed to return the next day and finish qualifications. April 27 saw the team finish with five wins and five losses, an amazing feat for MVA’s debut appearance on the robotics world stage. The students worked hard, competed to the best of their ability, and helped their alliance members and others throughout the tournament. Unfortunately, we were not asked to be an alliance member for elimination matches, so our worlds run ended there.
While packing up and reboxing the robot and equipment to return to Florida, it was heard from the pits that Team 19122A-Biohazard was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for our division at the world championship. Below is the description of our award:
The Sportsmanship Award is presented to a team that has earned the respect and admiration of the volunteers, MC’s, judges, and other teams at the event. The team is a model for all other teams at the competition.
- Team is courteous, helpful, and respectful to everyone at the event, on and off the field.
- Team interacts with others on the game field in the spirit of friendly competition and cooperation.
- Team demonstrates respect and willingness to help event staff, other teams and spectators.
- Team demonstrates excitement and enthusiasm throughout the event.
This was a great award, especially for our first time at the VEX Robotics World Championship. The world tournament ended with finals and closing ceremonies in The Dome. The team showed enthusiasm and excitement as we cheered on the teams in The Dome and watched the grand unveiling of next season’s game – Over, Under. The underclassmen returning next year were excited and were already brainstorming ideas and robots with the intention to return to the world championship next year!