Lakeview High School, NPPD hosting 40-team competition
Columbus, Neb. – When you think of robotics the first thing that could come to mind is Robbie the Robot from “Lost in Space” or some 1960’s era science fiction movie. But the robots competing at Lakeview High School Saturday will be a little more sophisticated, having been developed through the ideas and skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) of high school and middle school students.
A total of 40 high school and middle school teams, representing 12 schools, including Lakeview and Columbus, will square off in the Lakeview High School VEX Tournament. Joining in the competition will be Ravenna, Omaha South, Weeping Water, Omaha Gross Catholic, Cross County, Aurora, Axtell, York, Hampton, and O’Neill.
The tournament pits teams of students utilizing robots they have built and engineered to perform certain tasks in a competition against other Nebraska schools. Participating teams also come up with unique names for their teams such as ‘Electric Mayhem,’ ‘Robosapiens,’ or even a salute to “Back to the Future” with ‘The Flux Capacitor.’
The event is co-sponsored by Lakeview High School and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD).
Saturday’s competition begins at 7:30 a.m., with inspections, robot skills and programming skills challenges with qualification rounds beginning at 10:30 a.m. The finals start at 3:30 p.m. followed by awards presentations.
NPPD is involved in the program through its Career Outreach Program. “These students build some amazing robots, but this program also helps students learn and understand the engineering, technical and programming skills needed to build a robot. Students develop teamwork skills, leadership, communications, and sportsmanship – all of which are demonstrated by NPPD employees on a day-to-day basis,” explained NPPD Outreach Programs Specialist Kim Liebig.
VEX robotics competition have a different theme each year. This year’s version is called “Starstruck.” Teams qualify from this competition to the state competition and potentially move to the United States Open championship and to the World Championships scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky, in April.