Columbus, Neb. – The phrase “nothing but net” can be closely associated with the game of basketball. But this Saturday there will be no Dick Vitale screaming those words at Lakeview High School as a basketball drops through the net without touching the rim.
Instead, Lakeview will be the scene of the First Annual Lakeview VEX Robotics Competition, with the theme this year being “Nothing But Net.” This event, which is contested not only nationally but at the international level, begins at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to run until 5 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by Lakeview High School and the Nebraska Public Power District, and open to the public with no admission fee.
Awards will be given to teams in various categories including the tournament champion, tournament finalist, and special awards for excellence, programming skills, robot skills, design, and sportsmanship.
A total of 32 teams, made up of middle and high school students representing ten schools and organizations, are expected to participate. Participating schools and teams registered include Brownell-Talbott, Omaha North, Gross Catholic, Cross County, National Robotics Academy, Millard South, Millard West, Lakeview, Centennial, and Kearney. Teams also have unique names ranging from ‘Organized Chaos’ to ‘Dream Crushers.’
NPPD is involved in the program through its Outreach Programs related to engineering, a major function for the District. “In addition to just having a great time and building amazing robots, this program helps students learn and understand the engineering, technical and programming and skills needed in building a robot. Students develop teamwork skills, leadership and sportsmanship – all of which are key competencies NPPD utilizes in the workplace on a day-to-day basis,” explained NPPD Outreach Programs Specialist Kim Liebig.
VEX Robotics competition “Nothing But Net” is played on a 12’x12’ square field with two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – competing in matches consisting of a fifteen second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play. Students utilize the robots they have engineered and constructed to place balls into nets within the time constraints, recording points for high or low goals ranging from one to 50 points.
The winning team from the Lakeview competition and the Excellence Award winner qualify for the Nebraska State Championship to be held in Omaha this February, and the U.S. Open Championship to be held at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in April. The Design Award winner will qualify for the Nebraska State Championship. Winners from the Nebraska State and U.S. Open Championships will qualify for the World Championships to be held in Louisville, Ky. in April.