Five Elmore County Teams Headed to State Tournament Today for Competition with VEX IQ Series – Elmore-Autauga News –

TOP PHOTO: Aris 1 Mustangs Judges award.
The VEX IQ competition series hosted by Millbrook Middle School finished its last tournament on Monday, February 7th.  Overall, the students did an amazing job and had a great experience according to organizers. It was a great opportunity to see the teams throughout the county problem solve and collaborate with each other to compete.
Millbrook Middle, Wetumpka Middle, Airport Road Intermediate, Eclectic Middle, Holtville Middle and Redland Elementary were in attendance all four nights to make this happen. When the competition ended on Monday night, Tracy Wright, STEM Director for Elmore County, tallied up the scores and presented awards. The awards are as follows.
Excellence Award- Eclectic Middle School Vexsteins
Teamwork Champions- Airport Road Intermediate 2 Mustangs and Eclectic Middle Vexsteins
Robot Skills Award- Redland Elementary Sneaky Squeakys
Design Award- Wetumpka Middle School Robo Indians
Judges Award- Airport Road Intermediate 1 Mustangs 
Marcy Stephens, principal of Airport Road Intermediate School, congratulated her teams proudly during the award presentation and out of 17 teams at competition, these elementary students placed 1st and 3rd that evening. They were one out of two elementary schools competing against the middle school students. “Words cannot express of how proud I am of our Robotics team! To our amazing coaches, Amber Blankenship, Amanda Main, Sydni Edwards, I want to say thank you to y’all as well,” said Stephens.
Amber Blankenship, 4th grade teacher and coach for the Airport Road Intermediate School Robotics team. has been coaching for two years. “It’s been really great seeing the program come so far so fast, especially considering last year was a little complicated with the COVID situation. I was able to work in robots teaching in Chilton County, which was helpful for me when our program launched last year. Beyond that, we really have great kids at ARIS that make it fun. My principal, and the district as a whole, are very supportive of the robotics program and I’m hoping we use these first two years as a foundation and build off of this year’s momentum into next year. Having opportunities like robots support the growing STEM initiatives that are so important for our students and I’m really glad to be a part of that,” said Blankenship.
STEM Coordinator Tracy Wright spoke to EAN about the importance of our STEM program for Elmore County Schools. “To explain what Elmore is attempting to accomplish in STEM I would like to start with some excerpts from some of my research. There is a scientist named Fredrich Froebel who created a collection of 20 toys, which are known as Froebel’s Gifts. With Froebel’s geometric tiles, children in his classes could create mosaic patterns, like those found in parquet floors. With his bricks, children could build towers and buildings. With Froebel’s colored paper, children could learn origami-style folding techniques for making shapes and patterns. With Froebel’s sticks and peas, children could assemble 3-D structures.
All these activities were intended to give children an appreciation for the natural world. Froebel wanted his students to gain a better understanding of the world around them. One of the best ways to do that, he realized, was for students to create models of the world and then recreate the world through their own eyes, and with their own hands. That was the ultimate goal of Froebel’s Gifts; understanding through re-creation.
“As the STEM Coordinator, I believe that we are using robotics as well as many other STEM programs in the district just as Dr. Fredrich Froebel did those many years ago with the addition of building 21st-century skills that are sorely needed in today’s world to succeed. To see our students think, design, build, test, self and peer-assess, then redesign until they are satisfied with a functional outcome is one of the most exciting and amazing things you can witness. In addition, our students are starting to use these processes across all curricula. My goal is to change the culture and bring the Media Lab spirit of creativity and innovation to children of Elmore County so that they, too, can grow up and send the world in a creative new direction.”
During the Elmore County Board of Education meeting recently, administrators, were able to showcase the introduction of STEM and the Engineering Design Process at Coosada Elementary. Then, the building of more persistent, problem solving students at Airport Road Intermediate. “We introduce structured STEM curriculum through Project Lead The Way and the use of the 21st century skills students acquired at the previous elementary schools to apply in their Millbrook Middle School classes. Last, the students choose career pathways at the newly created STEM Academy at Stanhope Elmore High School where they will also be introduced to STEM professionals as informational resources. All of this will be done in a seamless transition K-12 and beyond, through professional development from several of our outreach universities,” said Wright.
Making enough points to go to the state finals competition in Auburn on February 18-19 were Eclectic Middle School Vexsteins, Airport Road Intermediate School 1 Mustangs , Millbrook Middle School Stem Stallions, and Redland Elementary School Sneaky Squeakys.
All four teams that qualified for state are elementary teams which is a amazing, official said.
The day after awards were presented, Airport Road Intermediate School 2 Mustangs received a notification that they will also be joining in the state finals since they had enough points to qualify. So, a total of five teams are headed to state.
Millbrook Middle School is looking forward to their April 2nd Robotics scrimmage at Stanhope Elmore High School’s gymnasium.

Subscribe our Newsletter for new blog posts tips & new

River Region’s Elmore Autauga News
(334) 285-1299
Follow Us


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.