Crichfield Robotics competes at State
The Crichfield Robo Ghosts competed at the Indiana VEX Robotics State Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 9th.
The Cougars had a school-wide parade on Friday and then sent two teams down to Indy for Crichfield’s first appearance ever down at State.
Lucas Oil Stadium was lined with booths for each school’s team(s). Stages and big screens were set up in the front for the competitions, with emcees moving the rounds along, and the stands were filled with cheering families. The football stadium was completely transformed into a world-class facility for robotics.
The initial rounds paired up teams from around the state, requiring them to work together to score points in the Teamwork Challenge. The newly acquainted competitors, in teams of two, would quickly discuss strategy and then head up on the stage to battle against the 60 second clock. The Robo Ghosts, coached by 5th grade teacher Mrs. Hand, competed numerous times in qualifying rounds and did well, but it wasn’t quite enough to move them on to the finals.
“At the beginning of the season, a student asked me what was our goal, and I said to get in the top ten. The kids said, ‘Then what?’ and I said, ‘Win a competition and go to State,’” Hand, in her third year of coaching, said.
The State competition was an invaluable learning experience for the Cougars. The teams they met have competed at State numerous times, and some had even been to the World Competition held in Louisville, Kentucky. The Robo Ghosts were able to see various types of robots and learn different strategies for earning points, all of which will only help the Crichfield team in the future.
For Crichfield principal Mrs. Biggs, it was a day to remember. To see the excitement and pride on the kids’ faces as they walked up on the stage to compete was worth it all.
“I was very impressed by the manner in which the students conducted themselves. They remained calm and confident amid the fast paced excitement that was all around them. They had a blast and worked collaboratively with their teammates and the teams from other schools, too. It was a great experience for them,” Biggs said.
The Robo Ghosts made it to Lucas Oil by qualifying in February at the Kingsbury VEX IQ ES Next Level Invitational, where they took first and second place. From then on, the team had its sights set firmly on Indy.
“I was so excited when we qualified. One because all of the time and effort they kids put into it was shown to the audience. The main thing was how happy the kids were that they built something that was going to compete,” Hand said.
The success of this robotics season had been months in the making. The Robo Ghosts put in a great deal of work, meeting on Fridays after school for over two hours from September to March to build and practice driving their robots.
“There is a lot of effort put in by the kids and the parents to make this run smoothly. It is a learning process for the students,” Hand said.
The season may be over, but the Crichfield Robotics team is ready to make their trip to Indianapolis a yearly thing.
Congratulations to Coach Hand and the following students: Andrew Hayes, Ava Taylor, Bailey Bode, Brendan Enos, Caden Meriweather, Evan Hough, Evan Howes, Gabe Younggreen, Gabriella Tompkins, Gavin Krieger, Gavin Phillips, Henry Denger, Isabelle Cain, Jack Miskowicz, Jaxson Maxfield, Madden Presley, Maddison Campion, Maliyah Ward, Maxwell Hamilton, Molly Cooper, and Samuel Thibideau.