Farmingdale High School hosted their third annual VEX Robotics Competition on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Close to eighty teams participated, comprised of high school and middle school students from across southern New York State. The purpose of the competition is to explore innovation through robotics, celebrate student accomplishments, and encourage friendly competition. The tournament was open to the public and admission was free. Nearly a dozen FHS alumni were on hand as volunteer referees and judges.
“It was a privilege to have so many of our alumni back home to help run this event,” said high school teacher and team coach Ann Grady. “Nearly all of them are pursuing engineering degrees and they really appreciate how their Farmingdale Robotics training prepared them for their studies and college engineering projects.”
Farmingdale High School has three robotics teams, two of which competed in the Tower Takeover game, a two-versus-two robot stacking challenge. Team VEXistential Crisis made it to the semifinals, finishing seventh out of thirty-eight teams.
The tournament was a first for the Weldon E. Howitt Middle School Junior Dalers Robotics team, who, along with ten other middle schools, chose to compete at the high school game level.
“They had the choice to compete in VEX IQ with other middle school teams, or VRC,” said middle school teacher and coach Jess Zanco. “They decided to challenge themselves. I was blown away by the work they put in to get there. They’re already hard at work on a new robot for our next competition, slated for February 1, 2020 at Freeport High School. I can't wait to see what they create!”
Robotics Team OverClock won the Farmingdale High School tournament, earning themselves a spot to compete at the 2020 Southern New York State VEX Championship Tournament, scheduled for March 7, 2020 at the Harvey School in Katonah, NY. Two of the Farmingdale High School Robotics teams qualified previously for the championship. They will be joined by the Junior Dalers, who qualified by earning the Excellence Award during the Farmingdale competition.
Farmingdale’s robotics teams have consistently qualified for the Southern NYS VEX Championship and have advanced to the world championship for the past five years.
“We couldn’t do this without the extended Daler community,” said Ms. Grady. “Proceeds from our registration fees will be used to fund a trip to our next tournament at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, where our teams will work with and compete against teams from across the US and Canada.”
VEX Robotics was created by The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. Their mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.