Student teams to compete at VEX Robotics tournament at Space Center Houston

The robotics club at the newly-renamed Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men is hosting a VEX robotics tournament on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Space Center Houston (1601 NASA Parkway, 77058). Now in its third year, the Knights of Engineering Robotics Club at the all-boys academy is inviting families from throughout HISD to attend the tournament, which is expected to last most of the day.

VEX Robotics is a high-end robotics platform that requires students to design, build, and program robots to perform complex tasks in highly competitive two-team alliances. Middle-school and high-school students compete throughout the year in an effort to make it to state-, national-, and world-level tournaments.

This year’s competition is called VEX Skyrise and challenges participants to score the most points by completing a combination of various tasks, such as stacking cubes, placing cubes in certain “goal” zones, and building “skyrises,” or tubular towers on which cubes can be stacked. Twenty-seven teams have signed up to compete, including teams from Reagan HS, Lamar HS, Carnegie Vanguard HS, Waltrip HS, Washington HS, The Rice School, and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.

“The best thing about robotics is that students are actively deploying twenty-first century skills,” said Leland Principal Dameion Crook.

Space Center Houston opens to the public at 10:00 a.m. Competitions typically last until 5:00 p.m. Paid visitors to Space Center Houston get free admission to the VEX tournament.

The Leland tournament is sponsored by the U.S. Army, Schlumberger, the Robotics and Education Foundation, and Kids Xplore.  For more information about this year’s competition, please visit the VEX Skyrise Wiki page at http://www.vexrobotics.com/wiki/Skyrise.

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