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Our Vex Robotics Team, Magneto, survived their whirlwind trip to the World Vex Tournament April 15-18 in Louisville, KY! From road tripping across the country to the final competition, our three Vex Wonders, Brianna, Ellie and Griffin, had tons of fun and learned some great lessons along the way. Our Vex Coach Ms. Daley, had a truly amazing experience, and parents Chris, Angelica, Kim and Paul made it lots of fun for everyone involved!
The kids loved the competition. Overall, the main highlight seemed to be meeting other competitors from around the world. They met with teams from other countries but most exciting was “talking” to the teams who did not speak English. When strategizing with these teams, the kids would type their strategy into a translation app and communicate with each other in a new way! Even though robot mishaps occurred and competing had its difficult moments, being with the team and making new friends was the best! The Vex Fieldtrip to the local amusement park, Kentucky Kingdom helped to solidify some of those worldly friendships and our Vex gang is hoping for a repeat visit!
Julie Daley, 2nd grade Alpine Teacher and Vex Robotics Coach also had a great time. As a first time Vex Coach, Julie began the year knowing very little about robotics. In fact, one of her very first teachers was 4th grader, Ellie Wilson, who went to the World Competition last year as a third grader, and again, this year. Learning about robotics really blurred the lines between teacher and student, allowing for authentic learning to emerge for both children and adults alike. Being open to learning from students is really what enabled Ms. Daley to be so successful this year as a Coach. At the tournament, Ms. Daley reminded the team that they earned their way to the champion by winning the Excellence Award, the highest honor to be won. She also helped Ellie, Brianna, and Griffin stay on task and work through difficult challenges. Ms. Daley felt so fortunate to have met many elementary students from around the world and witness the extraordinary STEM engineering designs, and robot engineering designs. The creativeness and talent of the hundreds of elementary students at the World Championship left her inspired.
The group of very supportive parents rounded out the event. Their massive fundraising efforts, strategic planning and enthusiasm made this a trip to remember! From donating their time and experience to driving across the country in an 8 passenger van, their dedication to student growth and learning is clearly evident. We would not have the program we do without their amazing support. Thanks to all our Vex Parents for their support this year!
Finally, we have to give a special shout out to Axel Reitzig, the district elementary robotics coordinator. His guidance and drive to help kids succeed through robotics has established an environment that allows students to FAIL (first attempt at learning) often and FAIL quickly. He has established a program where it’s safe to take risks and the best part is learning from our actions, which creates maximum learning opportunity for our kids.
Keep following the Alpine Vex Team for new adventures this summer and in the 2015-16 school year!