Robotics teams from Owensboro Innovation Academy and Daviess County High School recently qualified to compete in the VEX World Robotics Competition. Eight hundred high school teams from around the world will compete at the world championship April 25-27 in Dallas.
The OIA team is named Event Horizon and its members are Michael Gray, Ben Austin, Ace Skimehorn, and Andrew Brown. This is the fourth straight year that an Owensboro Innovation Academy team has qualified for the world championship..
Stephanie Gray, the team’s coach, said, “This season has been a series of innovations in building and programming. This year’s game was especially challenging as students had to build a robot to shoot discs into a goal. With that comes the challenge of eliminating friction and coding a robot to shoot at a specific target consistently. What is nice about going to VEX Worlds is getting new ideas from different people all around the world. … This year, the team hopes to advance past the qualification round in their division to the elimination round.”
The Daviess County team is named DCHS Crimson and its members are Jacob Fulcher, Samuel Fleming, and Carson Decker. DCHS Crimson meets at Apollo High School after school five days a week every week and sometimes on Saturdays to accomplish their goals.
Jonathan Leohr, the team’s head coach said, “As an Apollo Engineering teacher and head coach to my teams, I have an unusual situation in that I coach five Apollo teams and two Daviess County teams. … This is now my 12th year of coaching robotics and I still vividly remember the dream of simply making it to the State Championship. This is the first year we have ever qualified for the World Championship, and we did it by just one point. It is truly a marvelous accomplishment as we have to face off with some of the best in the world. This particular group has led the way not only in the construction and programming of their robot, but in their leadership skills.”
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which thousands of schools participate in around the world each year.
“I’ve seen firsthand the engineering skill and leadership expertise that students gain by participating in the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “It’s an experience that will stay with them long after their school days are over, offering a new appreciation for STEM and laying a strong foundation of critical problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.”