The Middle School robotics team enjoyed its first taste of competition Jan. 21 when the four students and their two coaches participated in the Vex IQ Robotics event hosted by the Hewitt School in Manhattan.
Spencer Whitman, Wendy Lichtenberg, Clayton Collum and Teddy Abt split up into two teams and competed against 30 other teams from 10 other schools.
Both Harvey teams, coached by teachers Sam Schursky and David Ketner, finished in the top 25 of the Skills Challenge, the first part of the competition in which each two-member team competed against the clock, trying to score as many points as possible. Teams were allowed to perform this competition twice, and their average score was compared against the rest of the field. Spencer and Wendy’s team scored in the top 15.
The second part of the competition, the main event, was the Teamwork Challenge in which teams were paired up with other teams. They collaborated to move hexballs to different scoring locations on the field, and then worked together to balance both robots on a bridge at the center of the field of play. The one-minute match came down to the 25 points earned if the two teams did this successfully. After competing in five separate matches, the top 10 teams with the highest average moved on to the finals.
The format of the finals was the same, but the finalists were paired up and competed in one last match. The two teams with the best score were declared the winners. Spencer and Wendy had a great showing, qualifying in the fourth spot for the finals. They had a shot to win the final match but the claw on their robot got caught up in its own treads which led to the robot losing its balance on the bridge.
Harvey’s team finished in fourth place overall. Mr. Schursky was pleased with Harvey’s first try at competition. “It was a fun and exciting day, and we look forward to competing again in the future,” Mr. Schursky said.