Monday, January 28, 2013

VEX: Reaching Out of This World

by Mollie Simon
For the second year running, Chamblee Charter High School will be represented at the World Championship competition for VEX Robotics, to be held in Anaheim, CA from April 17 to 20.

On Saturday, January 26, one of Chamblee's three independent teams qualified for the international event by winning the "Design" award during their fourth competition this season.

“I could not believe I was able to do this,” said team captain, senior Chad Weeks.

In addition to Weeks, the winning team consists of juniors Sams Khan, Daniel Richardson, and Logan Simpson, and senior Sebastian Perez-Ramirez. 

The feat of making it to the world level competition is especially impressive as members of the team have only been working with VEX robots for five months.

“They went from knowing zero to where they are now,” said team sponsor and engineering teacher Gwen Cook. “I gave them about three weeks worth of lessons, and then they took it from there.”

The group is now in third place for the DeKalb league (which contains approximately 50 teams). Chamblee’s other two teams are currently holding the 19th and 17th ranking spots in the county.

The journey of getting to Anaheim, California is not over yet though. The team plans to build a second robot and to make changes to their current design.

“My hope for Worlds is to be in the top 15 percent of robots after making the changes we need to make,” said Weeks. “I hope that we are not just there, but are there as serious competitors.”

Before reaching this goal, the team has a long road of fundraising and work ahead of them. Just building the second robot will cost around $1,000.

For the two teams that are still trying to make the Worlds competition, Weeks has a few words of wisdom.

“Troubleshoot to create what you had imagined,” said Weeks.

If you are interested in sponsoring the team, please send an email to:

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