Robotics team takes state competition, sets sights on worlds

The Hohokam Robotics Team (submitted photo)

The Hohokam Robotics Team (submitted photo)

After winning the Arizona VEX IQ Robotics State Championship Elementary Division, Hohokam Traditional School’s robotics team, Talon, has qualified for the 2016 VEX IQ World Competition in April.

The 2016 VEX Worlds – VEX IQ Challenge Elementary Division, will be held April 20-23 in Louisville, Ky. The robotics team, led by coach Mike Peabody, is excited to have the opportunity to compete at the world level. Three parent volunteers work with the students weekly.

“I am so proud of our third, fourth and fifth grade students,” stated Coach Peabody in a press release.

The Hohokam robotics program was started five years ago and emphasizes teamwork and leadership skills. In 2014 and 2015, the team qualified for the state tournament. Additionally, in 2015, the team received the Judges Award for Sportsmanship for its exemplary behavior and teamwork.

A photo from the state competition last week (submitted photo)

A photo from the state competition last week (submitted photo)

In 2016, two Hohokam teams, Talon and Falco, qualified for the state competition. Talon won first place and Falco took second. A third Hohokam team did not qualify for the state tournament, but attended the tournament to help and cheer on their teammates.

“Even though two of our teams did not qualify for the world competition, Talon represents us all because we are all Team Hohokam – one of the first rules of the Hohokam robotics program,” stated Coach Peabody in the release.

Robotics innovation is a strong tradition at Scottsdale Unified School District. In February 2016, the Mohave Middle School robotics team won a STEM research award at their regional VEX IQ tournament and one of the Mohave teams qualified for the state tournament. At the tournament, the Mohave team was recognized with the Sportsmanship Award. In 2014 and 2015, Mohave teams were back-to-back state champions in VEX IQ and qualified for the VEX World Championships. The Mohave team is fortunate to be mentored by students from the Saguaro robotics team who were part of the Mohave State Championship teams in 2014 and 2015.

Additionally, in 2015, the Saguaro High School robotics team won their regional competition and qualified for the FRC World Competition. This spring the team will compete in two regional tournaments in an effort to qualify for the world championships held in St. Louis this coming May.

This year, the Saguaro VEX team won all three tournaments they entered along with two excellence awards. They qualified to compete in the VEX state championship which will be held at ASU the first Saturday in April 2016 along with the AIA state championship to be held in May. Last year the Sabercat FRC team finished second at the AIA state robotics championship, the release stated.

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