WHBI robotics team wins VEX Robotics World Championship

The fifth grade WHBI robotics team, the Radical Robots, won the VEX Robotics Excellence Award at the virtual world tournament (the highest award you can win in Vex Robotics) after successfully being crowned the New York state champions for the second consecutive year. The Vex IQ Worlds Tournament occurred over a couple of weeks in May and included a completed engineering notebook, judge interviews and competitive driving and programming of a robot designed and built by a fifth grade team.

“I am speechless, but not surprised!” said WHBI Principal Gwynne Cosh. “A huge congratulations to everyone involved. It has been such a pleasure watching the Radical Robots from the very beginning. We could not be more proud. I would like to recognize the commitment and dedication of all the parents and coaches who were invested in this team. A huge thank you for all their hard work and persistence. This truly is a special group.”

The team consisted of three girls and three boys and included Juliana Muldner, Jonny Cirillo, Hazel Wood, Lily Cormier, Nolan Young and Maddox Brodt.

  • Engineering Notebook: The team logs their progress for the entire season tracking design changes and challenges with the design. Juliana Muldner was the leader of the notebook process.
  • Judges Interview: The team had a 30 minute interview with the Worlds Judges. To prep for this interview, Ben Grieco was one of the practice judges to assist them with being better prepared. This preparation proved to be one of the most valuable parts of the prep.
  • Driver’s challenge: The team drove their robot for 1 minute stacking risers in designated spots. Jonny Cirillo was the driver for this challenge and the team had their best run of the year with a score of 102 points.
  • Programming challenge: The team programmed their robot to perform for 1 minute stacking risers in designated spots. Hazel Wood was the lead programmer and the team had their best run of the year with a score of 70 points.

Other team members:

  • Lily Cormier: Lily was one of the builders on the team and was instrumental in helping managing our team.
  • Nolan Young: Nolan was on our innovation team, assisting with the build of a second robot and introducing different designs to test for the main robot. Nolan became one of our most improved team members this year.
  • Maddox Brodt: Maddox was also on the innovation team.

The 2021 VEX elementary world competition was split into four divisions based upon skill level. The Radical Robots were placed in the “Venus” division – the second highest division. During the skills (driver and programming) run, their two personal best scores placed them sixth in their division which was an amazing accomplishment (the notebook and interview scores are not shared). It is with much excitement to announce, the Radical Robots won the World Excellence Award in the Venus division – once again, the highest award in the VEX competition. This award is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a high quality robotics program.

Fun facts about the Vex Robotics Competition

  • Only teams that achieved the excellence award that qualified them for Worlds are eligible for the Worlds excellence award (Thus, winning the New York State Excellence award was essential).
  • The Venus division included teams from Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia

About the program

  • REC Foundation utilizes our online resources, curriculum, and programs to support robotics and technology events and initiatives aimed to inspire and motivate students to excel in STEM education.
  • One of the programs it operates and supports competitions for it VEX Robotics
  • VEX Robotics is an education robotic system for grades per-K all the way to college.

A recording of the World Tournament can be viewed on YouTube.

Club advisors Chris Cormier, Eric Wood and Josh Muldner would like to thank QUFSD for the club’s support!

About the team

  • The Radical Robots competed in the elementary division (fourth and fifth grade) of the VEX Robotics program. Our team was comprised of all fifth graders with an even mix of three girls and three boys, all students at Queensbury schools.
  • For the 2020-2021 season, the Radical Robots were sponsored by Finch Paper.

About the competition

  • As part of the program, we compete annually in a robot competition with a new “game” every year. This year’s game was called Rise Above.

About the season

  • This team won the state championship in 2020 (VEX Robotics terminology is “the Excellence Award”). The state championship occurred on Feb. 29, 2020 in Syracuse, NY with the country shutting down a couple of weeks later. So although the team qualified for the world tournament in May 2020, the event was cancelled.
  • In June 2020, the team began to meet virtually to discuss robotics principles and 2021 plans. In August, we began meeting in person (following all COVID protocol) at a coach’s house (outside) and moved to the garage when the weather became cold. In 2021, we competed in 1 in person event in Niagara Falls, NY (winning the skills award) and 1 virtual event hosted out of Canada with teams worldwide.
  • In April 2021, the team competed in the virtual State Tournament, winning the state championship for the 2nd year in a row for the elementary division qualifying the Radical Robots for the virtual World Championship