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JoCo Robos legacy continues

JoCo Robos Team 3075D shows off its most recent award. This May, students Jackson Clifton, Lanie Mink, Charlie Norris, and Owen Taylor will compete against 300 teams worldwide at the Vex Robotics Live Remote World Championship. Submitted photo

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

Johnson County started offering robotics and competing approximately six years ago. Out of those years, this is the fourth time JCMS students dominated the competition and qualified to compete in the world competition. Now JoCo Robos Team 3075D will compete against 300 teams nationwide. Team 3075D is made of the following students: Captain Jackson Clifton, Journalist Lanie Mink, Programmer Charlie Norris, and Driver Owen Taylor.

“For the first time ever, along with our partners at VEX Robotics, we’re excited to announce that qualified teams from around the globe will be part of an exciting event: Live Remote VEX Robotics World Championship presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation, in May 2021,” the Robotics Education Competition (REC) Foundation announced. “This won’t be like any VEX Worlds ever experienced but will go down in history as the first of its kind.”

Because of COVID-19, competing in robotics has temporarily changed. Students usually travel all around the region, competing in competitions. This school year, that was not an option. Local students only participated in a few regional tournaments in late February and March while social distancing and without any spectators. Additionally, students did not start building their robots until late September because of COVID-19-related complications.

“It was definitely not as fun and intense as the usual competitions,” Coach Susan Quave explained, discussing what she has coined as the Year of the Mask.

The JoCo Robos will compete in the world competition this May, which excited coaches and students after the pandemic canceled the 2020 competition. The world competition attracts approximately 30,000 attendees each year, per REC, officials canceled the event for safety reasons related to COVID-19. According to Quave, Team 3075D has its first judges’ interview on Saturday, May 1. Competition times are still be settled.

The JoCo Robos continue to work hard. These talented students can compete thanks to the generous donations of local businesses and government officials, which support the team and help with competition fees.

“Joco Robos would especially like to thank Danny Herman Trucking Company, Inc. For paying the registration fee for the world’s tournament and always supporting the teams,” Quave told The Tomahawk.

To find out more about the Vex Robotics Live Remote World Championship, visit roboticseducation.org/vex-robotics-world-championship. Find out more about Johnson County Schools and its programs at jocoed.net.