EAST LANSING — The Zipties of Grandville won the coveted VEX Robotics Excellence Award and a two-team alliance from Flint and Niles were tournament champions at the 2019 Michigan VEX Robotics State Championship on Feb. 24 at Michigan State University.
There were 72 high school teams from Michigan’s lower peninsula competing at the 2019 state tourney — each working for the right to represent Michigan in the 2019 VEX Robotics World Games in Louisville, Ky., April 24-27. Championship contests for middle school teams are at Monroe Community College this year.
In all, around 500 Michigan high school robotic masters attended the championship tournament in MSU’s Jenison Field House.
The 2019 MSU VEX High School State Championship results are:
- Excellence Award: Zipties, Team 248A, Grandville Robotics, Grandville. Zipties took a total of three top awards in 2019.
- Tournament Champions: A two-team alliance of Mo Peeps, Team 1375A, Carman-Ainsworth Schools, Flint, and High Voltage, Team 4911A, Michiana Youth Robotics and Engineering, Niles
- Innovate Award: The Zip Ties, Team 39Z, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills
- Amaze Award: High Voltage, Team 4911A, Michiana Youth Robotics and Engineering, Niles
- Design Award: Mo Peeps, Team 1375A, Carman-Ainsworth Schools, Flint
- Think Award: Rip Carl, Team 39K, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills
- Judges Award: Brainstorm, Team 33F, Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac
- Robot Skills Champion: Zipties, Team 248A, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
Tournament finalists were:
- A.K. of Lacking, Team 244D, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
- Zipties, Team 248A, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
- D+ Is Passing, Team 248F, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
- Alpha, Team 288A, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
- Mediocre at Best, Team 288E, Grandville Robotics, Grandville
- Q, Team 8031E, Hudsonville Robotics, Hudsonville
Drew Kim, assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship and K-12 outreach in the MSU College of Engineering, said a lot of energy and skill goes into each VEX Robotics team.
“VEX introduces students to basic robot innovation, working together, troubleshooting, and team fun. MSU is very proud to nurture these young engineers and designers for Michigan’s technology future,” Kim said.
Bob Watson, K-12 outreach/robotics coordinator for MSU Engineering, said teams began qualifying at local tournaments in October.
“Teams that win at the local tournaments then qualify for the Michigan VEX Robotics State Championships and the right to join about 1,500 teams at world games,” Watson said.
This year’s contest, VEX Turning Point, used caps, flags, three-inch balls, and three platforms to score points during timed contests. Students built innovative robots and competed on a 12-foot-by-12-foot playing field.
Watson said high school teams traveled from Battle Creek, Bloomfield Hills, Cass City, Detroit, DeWitt, Grandville, Haslett, Harbor Beach, Hudsonville, Novi, and Traverse City, among others. View the team list at this link.