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Solon takes honors at robotics tourney

ALBERT LEA, Minn.– Two of the five teams from Solon Middle School and Solon High School competing at the Dream It Do It Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament received awards. The tournament was on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Albert Lea High School in Albert Lea, Minn. The tournament was hosted by Riverland Community College.
Percussive Maintenance from Solon High School was part of the three team alliance that were the tournament champions. The other teams were the Windom Eagles A Team from Windom Middle School and High School in Windom, Minn., and the Boss Botz from the Boy Scouts in Cold Spring, Minn. They competed against 18 other teams to win. Percussive Maintenance also were the programming skills winner.
The Raging Bananas from Solon Middle School won the energy award for their team’s enthusiasm. The judges noted that their energy built throughout the day.
To prepare for the tournament, each team learned the game Toss Up, which involves maneuvering large balls into different zones, stashing small balls into containers and hanging robots from a bar at the end of the game. They designed, built and programmed their robot using the VEX Robotics Design System, using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They also learned an equally important set of skills, including communication, critical thinking, project management and teamwork.
The Dream It Do It Southern Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament is one of three tournaments in Minnesota. These tournaments are part of more than 400 tournaments taking place throughout the 2013-2014 season, engaging more than 7,300 teams from 26 countries around the world.
Many of the Minnesota VEX Robotics Teams received VEX kits from colleges that are part of 360-degrees Manufacturing and Applied Engineering ATE Regional Center of Excellence, including Riverland Community College.
“Robotics is a great opportunity for students to put STEM skills into practice while learning about manufacturing programs, like Riverland’s, and careers, where those same skills are used,” says Peggy Young from Riverland Community College. “These students are learning mechanical design, troubleshooting, programming, problem solving and teamwork– the same skills manufacturers need from their future workforce.”
Photos from the day are posted on Dream It Do It Minnesota’s Facebook page. To learn more about Dream It Do It Minnesota, visit dreamitdoitmn.com. More information about the VEX Robotics Competition is available at Roboticseducation.org and RobotEvents.com.