For the third time in as many years, the Sandy Creek Co.R.E. VEX Robotics team has won the Northern New York Championship to advance to the VEX World Competition in April. The team is coached by John DeGone, technology instructor in the district, who organized a small group of students into a robotics team three years ago.
This year 255 teams competed across New York State in VEX robotics competitions to see who could design, engineer, build and program the best robot. Sixty-six high school teams earned the privilege to compete at the Northern New York State VEX Robotics Championship on March 11 at the SRC arena. Teams from across New York State competed in the all-day event through qualification rounds, quarter- and semi-final rounds in two divisions. During the qualification rounds the Sandy Creek 34000 [Co.R.E.] robotics team placed 3rd and 8th in the Technology division and 8th in the Engineering division. At alliance selection the third ranked Sandy Creek team ‘E’ picked the 8th ranked Sandy Creek team ‘M’ to partner with them in the Technology division finals. The Sandy Creek teams won their next four matches and faced off against the first ranked team in the Technology division finals. In a come-from-behind victory the third seeded Sandy Creek alliance beat out the first seeded alliance to win the technology division title and proceed onto the grand championship finals against the first seeded alliance of the Engineering division. In the grand championship rounds the Sandy Creek teams dominated their competition in the first two rounds for a shutout with scores of 85 to 59 and 110 to 105 earning them tournament champions and two tickets to the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, KY on April 25-28.
The team also earned several other awards including: the Amaze Award, the Skills Award, and the Sportsmanship Award.
The Amaze Award is presented to a team that has built a competition robot that clearly demonstrates overall quality. A solid mechanical design along with demonstrated robot programming, robustness, strong performance and consistency are key attributes assessed for this award. Some key criteria includes: robot design is consistently high-scoring and competitive; robot demonstrates a solid mechanical design and is robustly constructed to fulfill its designed task; robot autonomous mode is consistently successful; robot is robustly constructed to fulfill its designed task; and teamwork, interview quality, and team professionalism.
The Robot Skills Champion Award is presented to the team with the highest combined programming and driving skills challenge score. A team’s combined score will be determined by adding their highest programming skills score and their highest driving skills score at a single competition.
The Sportsmanship Award is presented to a team that has earned the respect and admiration of the volunteers and other teams at the event. Key criteria for this award includes: team is courteous, helpful, and respectful to everyone at the event, on and off the field; team treats others on the playing field in the spirit of friendly competition and cooperation; team demonstrates respect and willingness to help event staff, other teams and spectators; and team demonstrates excitement and enthusiasm throughout the event.
For the 2017-2018 competitive season, the Sandy Creek Co.R.E. 34000 team boasts, six first place tournament champion awards, five first place skills awards; one design award; two tournament finalist awards (second place); five New York State championship awards and three New York State banners.
John DeGone contributed to this article.
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