Pike Road Robotics teams prepare for World Championship

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 5:56 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Pike Road Schools’ robotics teams are preparing to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship competition in Dallas, set for May.

“We believe robotics is a great way to engage diverse groups of learners in science, technology, engineering, and math that have been proven to help pave the way to college and a variety of careers,” said Pike Road Robotics Coach Catherine Kenny. “Because of the many aspects involved with robotics, robotics has the potential to engage all learners in complex yet fun ways, encouraging them to use critical thinking skills to solve specific tasks.”

Pike Road Schools had five high school teams and one junior high team competing for 2022. Two of the teams, Big Brains and Mechanized Metal, competed in five tournaments throughout the regular season before representing PRS at the VEX Robotics Alabama State Championship where they earned a spot at the world championships next month.

  • Big Brains (Braden Crowe, Luke Hastings, and Langston Morgan) ended the regular season ranked 4th in the state for VEX High School World Skill Standings.
  • Mechanized Metal (Greyson Lipscomb, Wyndham Metzger, Hailey Moss, Bhakti Patel) ended the regular season ranked 2nd in the state for VEX VRC Middle School World Skill Standings.
Pike Road students discuss the upcoming robotics world championship.

This year’s junior high and high school students competed in the VEX VRC Challenge called Tipping Point. It is played on a 12′x12′ square field. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a 15-second autonomous period, followed by a one 1:45 driver controlled period. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring rings, moving mobile goals to alliance zones, and by elevating on platforms at the end of a match.


This year’s elementary and middle school teams competed in the VEX IQ Challenge Pitching In. It is played on a 6′ x 8′ rectangular field. Two robots compete in the teamwork challenge as an alliance in 60 second long teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Teams also compete in the Robot Skills Challenge where one robot takes the field to score as many points as possible. These matches consist of driving skills matches, which will be entirely driver controlled, and programming skills matches, which will be autonomous with limited human interaction.

Two Pike Road Intermediate School teams, The Coded JackHammers and The Coded Pythons, also competed throughout the season and qualified for a spot at the world championship.

  • The Coded Pythons (Elijah Beal, Tyler Bisson, Charlie Bowden, Elijah Stringer, Grayson Wright)
  • The Coded JackHammers (Grady Coppock, Theron Hurston, Luke Shinkle, Danek Stevens)

“Robotics requires students to develop mechanical and electrical knowledge as well as an understanding of computer programming, teaching students how to design, prototype, and troubleshoot, all while working together as a team. To us, robotics is one of the most valuable academic activities a school can provide a learner in preparation for life,” Kenny said.

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC), is the largest and fastest growing school robotics program globally. Each year, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in an exciting, game-based engineering challenge. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build innovative robots and compete year-round.

The VEX Robotic World Championship will be held May 3-12 in Dallas.

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