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Vineyard Ranch Robotics "Stays calm with Bots on"


The RanchBots team at Vineyard Ranch.

On March 1, the Alamo City hosted one of the largest K-12 robotics competitions in the world! More than 3,500 students (200+ teams) from across the United States and Canada ascended on San Antonio to compete in a friendly competition of engineering and real world challenges.

Two teams from North East ISD's newest elementary school, Vineyard Ranch Elementary School, advanced after competing in a FLL (First Lego League) qualifying round in Comal ISD last month. FLL challenges students in grades 4-8 to program and build a robot to score points on a game board, develop an invention to solve a real world problem, and exhibit all the Core Values that lead to successful leaders and competitors. Every FLL team must qualify for the championship by being a top scorer in a prior FLL tournament. The theme this year was “Nature’s Fury”. The game board, challenges, and project were all based on this real world problem.


The BroncoBots of Vineyard Ranch.

The RanchBots and BroncoBots were new to robotics at the beginning of the school year. These fifth grade students were chosen to be a part of Vineyard Ranch’s first competition team after showing leadership in and out of the classroom and finding creative solutions in the face of adversity. At the Comal qualifier the RanchBots were awarded the Gracious Professionalism trophy for being "a team whose members show each other and other teams respect at all times. They recognize that both friendly competition and mutual gain are possible, on and off the playing field."

The BroncoBots advanced due to their overall high scores in all areas. The RanchBots chose to help victims of a hurricane by inventing “The Light of Life”. An alert system that you would activate if you had to leave pets stranded in a home during a hurricane evacuation. The BroncoBots created “The Tornado Eraser”. A wind generated turbine that would decompose tornadoes before they hit cities and destroyed lives. Both projects were well received by judges and were praised as being innovative!

Although neither team walked away with a top trophy last weekend, a team member, Andrea, wrote these words to her teammates on Edmodo Sunday.

“We may have left the finals without a trophy, but we all know it wasn’t for nothing. I am glad I got to spend time with people that I didn’t know well. It meant so much having spent time with you all. You guys are so funny in every way and made each day fun. Hope we all will be in Robotics again next year!”

Watch out Lopez, there are some real leaders, innovators, team players, and scientist coming your way!

Posted on March 5, 2014