Sterling Heights, Mich. – Participants of the 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship were joined this weekend by Kari Byron, host of the Discovery Channel’s hit show MYTHBUSTERS and the Science Channel’s HEAD RUSH, as winning alliances from the Middle School, High School and College competitions triumphed from United States, Canada, China and New Zealand, after outmaneuvering some of the world’s best teams during the intense three-day tournament which took place on April 14-16 at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
Upon arrival, students were showered with confetti from bursting canons, welcomed by stilt walkers, a resident DJ, and entertained by a graffiti artist that painting the town robo-red in honor of the intense competition. The games kicked off on Thursday and continued Friday when teams from around the world poured into the stadium for the opening ceremonies, waving colorful flags from their respective countries and hailed by Mickey and friends. “There was so much energy and talent at this year’s VEX Robotics World Championship that it inspired us both on and off the field,” said Grace Hsieh of the winning high school champion alliance from team W.A.S.A.B.I. 2 hailing from Bellevue, Washington. “It was an amazing experience to meet and compete with some of the best teams from all over the world.”
After a series of intense back-to-back matches and elimination rounds, the High School Champion alliance emerged with teams comprised of Massachusetts’ Green Egg Robotics Club, Washington’s W.A.S.A.B.I. 2 and Ontario, Canada’s Simbotics teams. The Middle School Champion represented an alliance of China teams from Sichuan Chengdu Longjiang Road Primary School and the Shanghai Luwan Teenagers Activity Center. The College Championship title went to Massey University from New Zealand. 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 team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics Program. Middle School, High School and College Excellence Award winners included, the VEXMEN: NightCrawler team from Downingtown Area Robotics in Downingtown, Pa., the Cheesy Poofs from Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif., and Massey University in New Zealand.
The VEX Robotics World Championship was the pinnacle event of the 2010-2011 VEX Robotics Competition season, brought together by the non-profit REC Foundation, VEX Robotics, Inc. and their partners Autodesk, NASA, EMC, Northrop Grumman and Innovation First International. The event drew more than 10,000 middle school, high school and university participants representing 16 countries from around the world, and teams created customized robots built with the VEX Robotics Design System to compete against the best of the best playing the 2010-2011 season game Round Up.
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 teams and individuals in each division for excelling in the following categories: Build, Community, Create, Design, Education, Energy, Future, Innovate, Inspire, Judges, Promote, Sportsmanship, Support, Teamwork, Think, Robot Skills Challenges, Mentor of the Year, Partner of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.