GRANDVILLE, Mich., March 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The robotics program in Grandville Public Schools continues to set the standard for top educational robotics programs in North America. Over the last two weeks, Grandville robotics teams have brought home State Championship banners at the High School, Middle School, and Elementary levels. This is the first time any school district in Michigan has claimed the State Champion title at all three levels of play. The Grandville Academic Team Boosters provide funding and coaching support for these teams, and are proud to have supported Grandville robotics teams since 2006.
On Saturday, March 11, elementary students from Grandville’s South Elementary School were winners at the 2023 State of Michigan Elementary VEX IQ Championship. The 3rd and 5th graders on the team finished the qualifying rounds ranked second and went on to win the event held at River Raisin National Battlefield in Monroe, Michigan. This winning team was coached by Melissa and Rod Cushman.
A week prior, on Saturday, March 4, students from Grandville Middle School won the 2023 State of Michigan Middle School VEX Robotics Championship, also held at River Raisin National Battlefield in Monroe, Michigan. Team 216B, from Grandville Middle School, won the event with alliance partner 28X from Cranbrook Schools from Bloomfield Hills. It was a highly contested win – and Team 216A from Grandville Middle School, along with alliance partner 61187C from Allendale Middle School, finished second in the State. Of special note – Team 216B won every tournament they played this year, including the State Championship. Team 216B was coached by Chuck Aman and Jay Clausen. Team 216A was coached by Rachel O’Callaghan and Jason Jaworowicz. All elementary robotics programs in Grandville are managed by Rosemary Hepfer, and supported by more than 50 volunteer coaches and mentors.
Two weeks ago, on Sunday, February 26, two Grandville High School RoboDawgs teams won the 2023 State of Michigan High School VEX Robotics Championship and broke state and national high school records. RoboDawg teams 248A and 248D won the 2023 State Championship, marking the fifth time in the last seven years that RoboDawg teams have been State of Michigan robotics champions. Other RoboDawg teams also received judged awards at the State Championship. Team 248E won the state Build Award, recognizing the most well-crafted and best constructed robot. Team 248A brought home the Innovate Award, which recognizes the team with the strongest combination of ingenuity and innovation in designing their VEX robot that exemplified thinking outside of the box. Team 288B brought home the Judges Award, given to the team for their outstanding achievements on the field and gracious spirit of play. Grandville High School Robotics teams are managed by Head Coaches Mike Evele and Doug Hepfer and supported by a coaching staff including Steve Clark, Katie, Clark, Tom Chicklon, and Morrie Cunningham.
The Grandville High School RoboDawgs are the only team in Michigan to ever win five VEX Robotics Championships, and their five State Championship wins in the last seven years place them among the top three robotics programs in the World.
Grandville Public Schools is about to open the largest, built-for-purpose robotics competition center in the Midwest. Opening this summer, the facility is capable of hosting events with up to 160 teams and seating more than 2,000 spectators. The competition center will host many of the largest state, regional, and national robotics competitions. It will be the new home for competitive robotics teams from Grandville High School and Grandville Middle School.
Michigan’s count of educational robotics teams places it in the top three states in the United States, thanks in part to the state funding for robotics teams available to all public schools through the Michigan Department of Education’s 99(h) grant program.
The Grandville High School RoboDawgs are one of the United States’ largest and most accomplished high school robotics teams. Grandville Public Schools has been a leader in educational robotics for 25 years. Beginning with one high school robotics team in 1998, the program has now grown to include more than 100 teams based at the District’s Robotics & Engineering Center. More than 700 students participate on Grandville robotics teams, designing, building, and programming robotics for competitions around the world. Grandville fields more than 20 Lego League and VEX IQ teams made up of fourth through sixth graders. These students go on to participate in the VEX Robotics Competition at the middle school and high school. The district fields middle school drone teams in the RECF Aerial Drone Competition. Grandville High School also fields teams that compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition, VEX AI, and Bell Advanced Vertical Robotics. High school teams build autonomous vehicles to compete on land, water, and in the air. The RoboDawgs’ high-altitude balloon program conducts research in near space and works to achieve long distance sustained high altitude balloon flight through neutral buoyancy.
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SOURCE Grandville Academic Team Boosters