The Robotics Invitational Tournament at Brentwood Academy, scheduled for Feb. 20-21, has been cancelled.

A regional VEX Robotics qualifying tournament, the event was to include more than 20 teams from across the state.

“Along with many schools worldwide, Brentwood Academy has seen the growth and increased interest in robotics engineering programs, and we are thrilled to support our students’ interest by organizing and competing in the VEX Robotics Competition state qualifying tournament,” said Wendy Stallings, Brentwood Academy physics teacher and robotics coach.

Last year, Brentwood Academy’s robotics team, the Iron Eagles, won the state competition and went on to compete in the World Championship competition in Anaheim, California.

VEX Robotics is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 11,000 teams from over 25 countries that participate in more than 800 competitions worldwide.  The competition season culminates each Spring, with the highly-anticipated VEX Robotics World Championship presented by the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation, which unites top qualifying teams from local, state and international VEX Robotics events.

“It is amazing how much we learned from our first experience last year. We have gone from one team of five young men last year to six teams and a total of 44 students this year,” said Stallings. “Four of our six teams have already qualified for state this year, and we are hoping the other two are able to join them after competing in the BA tournament next weekend.”

The tournament consists of teams operating in head-to-head competition with the robots that they have spent months constructing and programming. The sport-like game they are competing in this year, titled “Skyrise,” consists of 44 cubes and skyrise sections that are used in a complex system of scoring on a customized playing field. Alliances are formed as the competition continues which results in additional opportunities for scoring points.

Throughout the season, Brentwood Academy teams have earned the title of tournament champions in each competition they have entered, including one in Georgia. Most recently, the teams swept the Rose Park VEX Winter Invitational Tournament by bringing home the Tournament Champion award as well as the Programming Skills Champion award, Robot Skills Finalist award, the Design award and the Excellence award.

Each year VEX designs a new challenge with corresponding curriculum that students use to learn engineering skills, teamwork, collaboration, programming, project management and critical thinking.

“The REC Foundation recognizes that successfully preparing our children for the future global economy will require a strong understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “Robotics engineering programs naturally engage and inspire students to pursue STEM subjects and careers and we are committed to providing them with high quality competition opportunities, like the VEX Robotics Competition, to accommodate their growing interest.”

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work.

Learn more at www.RoboticsEducation.org and www.robotevents.com.

To see a documentary of the Iron Eagles’ journey to last year’s World Competition in Anaheim, go towww.brentwoodacademy.com/robotics.

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