Plainfield elementary students qualify for national robotics competition

By Peg McRoy Glover

Doria Baker and Charlotte Rose, two Brentwood Elementary fifth grade students, are headed to the VEX IQ Robotics World Championship May 2-4 in Dallas.

Their outstanding finish at the VEX IQ Robotics State Championship March 25 at Lucas Oil Stadium qualifies them to advance to this world competition. 

The competition in Dallas will host the best 517 elementary teams from around the world representing 45 states and 45 countries. 

“We are really proud and excited for these two fifth grade girls,” said Jennifer Gray, Brentwood robotics coach. “They work really well together and are a strong dynamic duo.”

With guidance from teachers and mentors these students came up with their own creative design for a robot based on the VEX IQ’s current year’s competition game called Slap Shot.

They designed, built and programmed their robot using VEX IQ parts to solve this engineering challenge. The robot they designed has a shooter and flywheel.   

“My favorite part of our robot is the shooting mechanism because it is accurate and gets us the most points,” said Baker. “Robotics has built my confidence in competing on stage, doing interviews and working as a team.”

Brentwood Bots C participants include fifth graders Charlotte Rose and Doria Baker. (Photo provided by Brentwood Elementary)

Baker and Rose are part of Plainfield’s Red Pride Robotics League that consists of 37 robotic teams. 

“The best part of robotics this year is getting to build the robot and going to state,” said Rose. “This year I have learned new ways to build and how to drive the course.”

They meet twice a week after school. Through this program they learn lifelong skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, project management and documentation. 

“I get chills when I think about how these students take what they’ve learned and apply it to building robots,” said Gray. “It truly sparks their natural curiosity about STEM subjects which will serve them well throughout their whole education and life.”