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On Saturday, February 6th, Northridge had the honor of hosting its very first VEX IQ Challenge. Students from schools both withing St. Vrain and outside the district convened to put their teamwork, innovation, and design thinking skills on display. There were thirty-three teams who participated in the challenge, and our hallways, gym, and cafeteria were bursting at the seams with approximately 400 people!
In the gym, students worked with coaches to plan and practice their robot designs. They learned from previous matches and made changes to both their robots and their strategies to maximize the points they recieved in their upcoming matches. As they planned, students in the cafeteria collaborated with their "alliances" (other VEX IQ teams that they teamed up with for each match) to plan strategies as to how they can work together to obtain the most points. Parents and staff members watched as students competed in matches and skills competitions throughout the day.
Those who were not participating or spectating could be found in the Innovation Lab, where they were able to explore various Design Thinking and technology resources at Northridge. Some were working with Laser Mazes to develop their critical thinking skills. Others experimented with robots, including Blue Bots, to pracitce their logic and basic coding ability. Some simply "drew" on the wall to experiment with the school's new interactive projector.
At the end of the day, students and parents reconvened in the cafeteria for the awards ceremony. Trophies were awarded to teams for categories such as teamwork, design, and excellence. While these students were celebrated, all who attended left with a sense of wonder, joy, and accomplishment regardless of how teams placed. The dedication, teamwork, and innovation of the participating teams was a cause for all to celebrate--and reason to look forward to next year's VEX IQ Challenge!