Kearney, Neb. – A total of 29 high school and middle school teams will square off in a competition this Saturday. Wrestling? Swimming? Neither one. It’s a competition featuring robots that will battle each other at the Kearney High School VEX Robotics competition.
The event is jointly sponsored by Kearney High School and Nebraska Public Power District.
Teams representing Ravenna Public Schools, Dundy County Stratton Schools, Cross County High School, Lakeview High School, York Middle School, Hampton High School, O’Neill High School, Chase County Schools, Lincoln Public Schools, Battle Creek High School and Kearney High School will be competition.
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 ‘Titanic Swim Team,’ and ‘Robosapiens.’
Saturday’s competition begins at 7:30 a.m., with inspections, robot skills, programming skills challenges followed by qualification rounds beginning at 9:30 a.m. The finals start at 3:15 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.