VEX IQ STATES

Emily R., Staff Writer

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Have you ever wondered what it is like to compete in Robotics States? Step in the shoes of a competitor on this fun-filled, jam-packed day.

First, wake up SUPER EARLY— around 5 o’clock in the morning! Then drive to school and load everything on the bus. Settle in and enjoy a beautiful sunrise around Tysons Corner while you are trying to tie up some loose ends robotics-wise. Doze off, perhaps, for the next hour or so…. And NOW is where the sleepiness ends! Enter the huge center and find yourself in organized chaos! After finding your table in the pits, unload your robot and poster board. Then, race to drop off your Engineering Design Notebook and pass Robot Inspection before starting some last minute programming. Oops— ran out of time last practice!

After the opening ceremony, get in the line for Skills. You only get three one-minute Driver Control runs, so use them wisely! You also get three Autonomous (programming) runs, but your program is not working! Dash back to the pits to create a last minute program. Test it, make a few small changes, and do a run! All right, maybe it was not the highest score, but better than zero, right?

After lunch (mmm, pizza!) The real fun begins! Get the teamwork matches list and highlight your matches. Be SURE not to miss any, as you may miss the match and hurt the other team. (Seriously, make sure to highlight all your matches. I speak with experience.)

From there, you’re always rushing to practice with an upcoming team, having your design and STEM interviews, and competing in actual matches! There is nothing like the feeling of scoring high, and helping another team, too. The teams you are paired with come from all over Virginia, and many are excellent. Meet new people and have a fun time! Just make sure you are where you are supposed to be, because you feel like you are ALWAYS late for something!

After the qualification (teamwork) matches, wait in anticipation for the awards ceremonies. When your team name is called for the STEM Award, run up to the front to receive your team’s trophy. YES! YOUR TEAM MADE IT TO WORLDS!!! See you after the competition!

 

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