STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., April 23, 2012 – The Golden State grew a bit brighter this weekend as more than 10,000 participants comprised of middle school, high school and university students, educators and team mentors from nearly 20 countries around the globe showcased their smarts in the fierce three-day 2012 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center. After the final points were tallied, the winning alliance from each division was comprised of teams from Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United States, who took home the coveted World Championship trophies.
Six hundred of the nearly 5,000 VEX Robotics Competition teams qualified to face-off in the robot ring against their toughest competitors at this year's VEX Robotics Competition World Championship after battling in more than 300 local, regional and national tournaments around the world during the season. Beginning on Thursday, the global competition kicked off with preliminary qualification rounds. Friday morning, students took part in the opening ceremonies parade of nations, bearing their respective countries' brilliant flags, followed by a series of intense head-to-head matches throughout the afternoon. The festivities reached a crescendo on Saturday as the division champion alliances worked together to defeat their competition in the Finals. Kicking-off the Finals, participants were set aglow by iLuminate, the awe-inspiring dance-in-the-dark sensation that took audiences by storm last summer on the hit television series "America's Got Talent. "The performance was led by Miral Kotb, iLuminate founder and software engineer who developed the patent-pending wireless lighting technology.
The Tournament Champion Alliance from the Middle School Division was comprised of team 8066A, Atom, from Singapore; team 5199A, Shanghai Shibei Junior Middle School, from Shanghai, China; and team 2300B, Robinson Middle School B, from San Juan, Puerto Rico.The Tournament Champion Alliance from the High School Division was comprised of team 569, NHRC, from Murrieta, Calif.; team 2900A, SymbiOHsis, from Auckland, New Zealand; and team 2W, Robosavages, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.The Tournament Champion from the College Division was team TGTZ1, from LaUniversidad Tecnológicade Gutierrez Zamora, in Veracruz, Mexico.
In addition, one team from each of the three divisions was presented with an Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics Competition, given to the teams with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics Program. Team 2177, The F.I.V.E, from Oconomowoc, Wis. took home the Middle School Excellence Award; team 3018, TechnaPwn Robotics, from Council Bluffs, Iowa took home the High School Excellence Award; and teamTSM1, Semex1, from Tejupilco, Mexico took home the College Division Excellence Award.
"We worked so hard to get here, and our whole team rose to the challenge that was before us in ways we didn't even know was possible," said Vinayak Pillai from team 569, NHRC, part of the High School Division Tournament Champion Alliance from Murrieta, Calif. "Each year VEX Worlds gets bigger, becomes more impressive, and the competition gets fiercer. Even if we didn't win today, this event is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives."
"It is so inspiring to see the high-level of energy, dedication and professionalism that teams from around the world bring into the arena at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship," said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. "If the excitement we see each year at the VEX Robotics Competitions is anything compared to these kids' in-classroom fervor for science, technology, engineering and math, these students are destined to succeed in any STEM related career of their choosing and become the thought leaders and innovators of our future."
When students were not competing in the robot ring, they had the once-in-a-lifetime the chance to meet Nobel Prize Award Winner and Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Physics, Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff, who was present signing autographs and taking pictures alongside a VEX Claw Bot that held the gold medallion. Attendees were also inspired by replicas of NASA's famous Mars Exploration Rovers Curiosity and Opportunity, which were be on display during all three days of the competition. Additionally, FutureLab: The Innovation Expo gave young students hands on learning experiences to encourage them to consider studying scientific and technological ideas and processes involved with nanotechnology, deep space exploration, robotics, alternate energy, virtual reality and human genomics.
For those competitors eager to get a jump on next year's robot designs, the 2012/2013 VEX Robotics Competition gameSack Attack was unveiled at the tournament on Saturday afternoon. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by picking up colored bean bags and placing them in a scoring trough that runs the length of the field. Robots will also gain points for finishing in designated areas at the end of a match.
Partners and sponsors of the 2012 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship include Autodesk, NASA, EMC Corporation, the Northrop Grumman Foundation, Microchip Technology, intelitek, Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University, Innovation First International, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the Technology Student Association, the CREATE Foundation and the FUTURE Foundation. In addition, VEX Robotics continually reaches students in the classroom through key partnerships with notable education-based organizations, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Technology Students Association (TSA).
In addition to the Excellence Awards and Middle School, High School and College Champion titles, several other technical and value-based awards were presented to the below listed teams and individuals in each program for excelling in the following categories:
For more information about the VEX Robotics World Championship and this year's award winners, please visit RobotEvents.com/championship.
The REC Foundation, standing for Robotics Education and Competition, is a 501© (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to supporting competitions for some of the world's leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA, BOTBALL and BEST, the foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational robotics products to middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on the VEX Robotics Design System, visit www.vexrobotics.com.