Robodox to compete in November VEX tournament

The school’s robotics team, Robodox, is set to compete in the VEX Victory in the Valley tournament on  November 4 at Reseda High School.

If the team wins, they will qualify for state championships. Upon winning, they move on to national championships.

In preparation for the event, the VEX students have been applying lessons they learned from past competitions.

“We have been redesigning and building based on problems that we learned from our first competition on October 14,” junior Sarah Bui said.

The Robodox team has robots that compete in two robotics programs: the VEX Robotics Competition and For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics (FIRST) Competition.

Whereas the FIRST season lasts from January to April, the  VEX season is year-round, although regional competitions  begin in the fall semester.

Every year, there is a new game for competitions. The new game set to be played for the rest of this year is called “In the Zone,” in which the objective is to stack as many cones around the field as possible.

“I like the seasonal games that change every year because it makes it easy to introduce and involve our new members. They don’t need to know about the previous year they missed. Also, new games make competitions more interesting because it keeps things unpredictable and makes students keep engineering new ideas,” Bui said.

In Robodox students not only design and create robots, but they incorporate sportsmanship and other contributions to learn the tools necessary to problem solve.

In addition, the team members foster collaboration as they take on the role of designing and constructing with their peers.

“It’s great being able to design and build the robots. Our mentors are there to assist us but we make most of the important decisions,” junior Jade Chen said. “We first analyze the game, design the robot, CAD it, manufacture, and then put electronics and programming,”

Robodox gives students a chance to learn important skills to be lifelong thinkers, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program aids this process.

The competitions, such as VEX, give students the chance to apply their STEM skills in engineering challenges.

Although both programs of the Robodox team  involve necessary teamwork and cooperation, the timeframes of the two programs differ.

“For the FRC program, we only have six weeks in spring to build our whole robot. So for that, we have a very strict schedule for each subsystem within the robot for when tasks or parts need to be finished. But for VEX, the teams are a lot smaller so they don’t have as strict of a time frame,” junior Kaitlyn Bailey said.

VEX event executives have planned the 2017 Rumble in the Jungle, a VEX In the Zone tournament, which is set to be at Granada Hills Charter High School on November 18.

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