The RoboRunners Vex IQ team #1313’s week seven was mainly a week of preparation. After the 2nd grader’s 1st place showing in their league, the 4th and 5th graders are waiting for their league to start.
The team is also preparing to go to states and compete against the best Elementary School competition the state has to offer. Both the league and states happen in week eight!
The team has been discussing a completely new design, but realistically getting that done before states and practicing driving would be nearly impossible. That didn’t stop the team from improving on their current design – the robot was about 50% redone this week.
The students are always thinking of ways to improve upon their design. Each session of driving practice leads to seeing minor things that can be tweaked to address problems. They continue to document ideas and actions in their engineering notebook.
STEM Research and Presentation
The older members of the team have been working hard on a STEM research project and presentation. The question they are trying to answer involves the Curiosity Rover that NASA sent to Mars.
It has been a lot of fun to hear their progress. I have been amazed by the kids use of shared Google Docs and their ability to research. I think their greatest challenge will be condensing things into four minutes!
The team continues to practice in all areas of the Vex IQ challenge. I have been having 1-2 students come over for more focused driving sessions. This has been much more productive then having the whole team drive at once.
The team is trying to determine what groups should do the driving for the driver skills challenge. This challenge involves only one robot on the field for one minute. There are several groups of two emerging as the front-runners but with only three chances at states they only have limited opportunities.
With all the big changes to the robot, programming always needs to be retested and modified. The lead programmer has also been testing new strategies for the autonomous challenge (robot drives itself.) This is a time consuming and sometimes frustrating process but progress continues.