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Madison robotics teams compete at Central tournament

posted Jan 31, 2019, 9:14 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jan 31, 2019, 9:14 AM ]

In January, Madison sent its two STEM robotics teams to a tournament hosted at Central Middle School. 30 different VEX Robotics teams competed in a mixed high school/middle school event. 

Central had competed in two tournaments in 2017-18, prompting STEM teacher Lolly Williams to approach Central Principal Keri Gardner about hosting an event. Williams said, "Principal Gardner came to our first competition last year, and we were both amazed by the students' participation and level of engineering the students were involved in."

Principal Keri Gardner readily agreed for Central to host a tournament this year, and Williams reported they had a host of volunteers: "Students, parents, teachers, family members, engineers volunteered, over 40 people pitched in and made our dream come true for students in robotics. The excitement in the air was high and all had a great time."

Volunteers included judges from ABB, and the event reflected past and present support for STEM education by ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.

Madison STEM teachers Shannon McKinney and Rachel Hough were at the event. Commenting on the Madison teams, McKinney said, "They worked after school almost every day to prepare for this exciting event. We had one team in the finals that was asked to be an alliance with a high school team. Way to go, students!"

Central's new 6th-grade team also made it into the finals, picking a high school team as their alliance, proceeding into the quarter-finals before being eliminated. Both Madison and Central will have teams competing at the TSA State competition on April 10-13.
One Madison robotics team
Madison robotics team members Noah Argo, Kira Hatlestad, Lucas Mann, and Nathan Gibson

Another Madison robotics team
Madison robotics team members Zach Milford, Taz Naylor, Owen Farris, and Alex Naylor