Tyler ISD Gifted and Talented (G/T) students from TARGET Academy recently competed in the Region 7 Spring Robotics Competition, where they competed against students from throughout the Region. Students had to design, build, and program robots to compete in an adventurous trek through formidable obstacles and by performing complex tasks. The Spring Robotics Competition engages G/T students in complex thinking and problem solving opportunities in a creative and inventive environment.
Three TARGET teams represented Tyler ISD. These teams included 5th graders DeJayla Beal and Ruby Ruiz from Dixie Elementary, Arleth Mata from Ramey Elementary and Noe Bravo from Austin Elementary, as well as 4th graders Carlos Caldwell from Jack Elementary and Shaniah Wallace from Griffin Elementary.
The competition consisted of two different events: the Arena Challenge and the Challenge Round.
The Arena Challenge consisted of several Revolutionary themed robotics challenges, such as depositing Tea Bags in Boston Harbor, pushing a wooden dowel “British Soldier” off of Concord Bridge, and ringing the Liberty Bell in order to earn points. Students were able to prepare for the Arena Challenge prior to the competition by building their robots to meet the challenges and coding a program as well. They were given three opportunities to run their program on the challenge board where they were judged for points. Judges took the top two highest scores for each team and averaged them for their final total. Out of 71 total teams participating in the competition, the TARGET Bots Team with members DeJayla Beal and Ruby Ruiz took 6th place with an average of 160 points.
The second part of the challenge was a mystery challenge given to teams the day of the event, in which they had to think quickly to innovate and program a design. Students were challenged to create a robot that would throw cannonballs into a rin
g similar to a skee ball target. Teams had two hours to rebuild and program their robot in order to enter the competition. Teams received points based on their robot’s ability to shoot foam balls into different concentric circles. One TARGET team was able to advance to the top sixteen semi-finals with their creative design and was very close to making it into the top four scoring teams.