WBGS Robotics Team Make it to VEX World Championship in Dallas

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Featured Article / 27 Mar 2024

VEX IQ National Championships

Our year 9 and 10 VEX IQ Robotics teams travelled to Telford in early March for the UK National Championships to join the top 60 teams in the UK, an achievement itself in their first year of VEX. Up until this point, the two teams had experienced a different journey through the season. Mekanix (year 9) had narrowly missed out on an automatic UK National Championships qualifier at 'QE's Battle for Barnet' in January, before securing it a week later with a tournament win in Coventry. High IQ (year 10) had improved steadily throughout the season, eventually securing one of the last available qualifying spots on offer thanks to their World Skills Ranking (just inside the top 50 teams in the UK at the time).

The two days provided a rollercoaster of emotion for the teams and all those supporting remotely on the live stream. The format of the tournament was split into two parallel divisions of 30 teams, with one of our teams in each division. All matches are 60-second cooperative games, with an alliance of two teams paired together randomly within the same division, meaning students have to quickly establish a bond and a strategy to be competitive. Both Mekanix and High IQ were very successful in this area, scoring consistently in their qualification matches to end the first day 1st and 3rd in their respective divisions. The pressure ramped up in the final qualification matches as all teams vied for the best possible ranking going into the finals matches. A good final round from both teams meant they mirrored each other's performance qualifying with a ranking of 2nd, both with average scores in the high 80s, pairing them with the top team in their divisions for the finals match.


The finals matches brought more pressure as the crowds gathered eager to see who would be crowned the UK National Champions, and also which teams would be awarded qualification for coveted World Championships spots. The finals matches were single-game shootouts, so alliances went all-out and gambled with high-scoring strategies, which occasionally paid off. High IQ were chasing 100 to win in the finals match, just narrowly falling short but doing enough to secure the runner-up award for their division. Similarly, Mekanix bravely chased a colossal 111 to win their division finals, but it was not to be their day, and they also came away with the division runner-up award. Both teams picked up a further award from the judges interviews throughout the tournament: Sportsmanship for High IQ and the Build Award for Mekanix.

After a brief hiatus of confusion, it was confirmed that the runner-up awards were qualifying awards for the World Championships in Dallas, Texas at the start of May, where our teams will join the top 420 teams in the world, and will be 2 of around 10 teams to represent the UK. Congratulations to the Mekanix team of designers Daniyal N & Angad W, builders Aaron P & Izyan M, and programmers Mustafa H & Dhruv D. An equal congratulations to the High IQ team of designers Edgar B & Eevan P, builders Angus M& Umer K, and programmers Robert K & Navaneeth P.


Dr Hedges