Central robotics tournament attracts 30 teams

posted Jan 31, 2019, 8:51 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jan 31, 2019, 9:03 AM ]

In January, Central Middle School hosted its first-ever robotics tournament. 30 different VEX Robotics teams competed in a mixed high school/middle school event. Four teams from Central and two from Madison Middle School competed in the tournament.

Central competed in two tournaments in 2017-18, including the TSA State competition. STEM teacher Lolly Williams, who coordinated the event, said, "CMS was thrilled to bring VEX EDR Robotics tournament to Bartlesville. Principal Gardner came to our first competition last year and we were both amazed by the students' participation and level of engineering the students were involved in."

Principal Keri Gardner readily agreed for Central to host a tournament this year, and Williams reported they had a host of volunteers: "Students, parents, teachers, family members, engineers volunteered, over 40 people pitched in and made our dream come true for students in robotics. The excitement in the air was high and all had a great time."

Volunteers included judges from ABB, and the event reflected past and present support for STEM education by ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66.

Asked about the teams from Madison, STEM teacher Shannon McKinney responded, "They worked after school almost every day to prepare for this exciting event. We had one team in the finals that was asked to be an alliance with a high school team. Way to go, students!"

Central's new 6th-grade team made it into the finals, picking a high school team as their alliance, proceeding into the quarter-finals before being eliminated. 

Central's third tournament for 2018-19 will be on February 16 in Claremore, and then an in-house tournament will determine which two teams from Central will compete at the TSA State competition on April 10-13. Madison will also go to TSA State.

Central plans to host another tournament next year, with separate high school and middle school divisions to allow more teams to compete and reduce the waiting list they had in this year's mixed tournament.
VEX Robotics Competition
Some of the Bartlesville teams at the VEX Robotics Tournament; Central STEM teacher and event sponsor Lolly Williams is in red next to Madison STEM teacher Shannon McKinney

Bartlesville Teams