Brookside team places in World Robotics Competition

Middle school group finishes 25th

Brookside Middle School team members and their adviser test their Rawr XD robot during the VEX Robotics World competition in Louisville. Ky.: (from left) Quinn Coomer, advisor Joel Kaplan, Cannon Spencer, Armand Segui, Andreas Zeitler and chaperone Mark Zeitler. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Schools

A team from Brookside Middle School in Sarasota placed 25th in the World VEX Robotics Competition in Louisville, Ky., on April 23, the Sarasota County School District has announced.

One hundred sixty middle school teams and 1,200 high school teams from 44 countries participated in the event, a news release points out.

“Brookside qualified for the world competition by winning the VEX Robotics Excellence Award and being named the top team in Florida for robot skills in the state contest in Tampa on Feb. 17,” the news release explains.

VEX competitions are presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, the release adds. The contests require each team of students to design and build a robot to play against the robots of other teams “in a game-based engineering challenge,” the release points out.

Brookside team adviser Joel Kaplan said the robot his group built for the competition is a Rawr XD. It was designed and programed to throw objects over a fence autonomously and under operator control, the release notes. The team was given three tries each for the operator control and autonomous control demonstrations, the release adds. Brookside scored 54, which placed it 25th in the contest.

Kaplan said the team members worked hard every day at the competition: practicing problem solving, competing in qualification rounds and meeting and collaborating with other teams from around the world, the release continues.

“It was a great experience for all of my students and something most other students will not get to be part of in their school career,” Kaplan added in the release. “Immediately after the announcement of next year’s competition, my students started planning their new robot and hoping to qualify for the World Competition again,” he noted in the release.

Brookside is located at 3636 S. Shade Ave. in Sarasota.