Polish Mission Robotics Teams Excel in Detroit-Area Competitions!

The following is an update from our youth robotics program here at The Polish Mission. Volunteer director, Miroslaw Owinski, shares with us some of the recent accomplishments from our teams!! 

IMG_8788This season we are continuing the robotics program with two teams under the banner of the Polish Mission: Monsterbots, in the middle school division, and Gearbots, in the elementary school division. We are using the robot kits and competition field  from the previous season; however, some new field elements had to be purchased to match the the new VEX IQ challenge: Bank Shot. We continue to meet every Sunday at the College Academic Center on the Orchard Lake Schools campus, to learn about the robot design and computer programming, and to work on our robots. Both teams also attend the scrimmages and qualifying robot competitions in the greater Detroit area to test their robots and hone their driving skills.IMG_8794

Monsterbots is a more seasoned team, comprised of Kuba, Amelia and Tomek. Amelia is the 5th grade, and Tomek is in the 4th, but to comply with the program’s regulation, the team belongs to the school division of the eldest team member, Kuba, who is in the 6th grade. Despite the slight disadvantage due the age disparity, the whole team has been putting up a good fight against their more mature rivals. They won the Programming Skills Award at the state qualifier at Cranbrook last November, and came in 9th at the recent event at Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills. All students were also able to take the tour of engineering and testing facilities at Nissan.  Congratulations on your accomplishments, students!  Your hard work has paid off.

IMG_8824Two 4-graders, Tymon and Alex, form the younger team, Gearbots. They have been facing even greater challenges than their older colleagues, because up to this point all the tournaments have been combined for both school divisions. So, in effect they have been forced to compete against much older middle school students. Still, they have been working diligently on their robot and, and with help from the more advanced students and their coach, they managed to produce a quite impressive robot and had fun in the process. They really enjoy running in the robotics competitions and have managed to beat many more advanced teams at every event.

Monsterbots are redesigning the robot and gearing up for the state finals at Cranbrook on February 27th. Gearbots also continue to upgrade their robot and improve strategy, as they still have a chance to join from the waiting list. Regardless, both teams are already registered for the practice match in Pontiac on March 5th.  And then, if the skills suffice and the fortune smiles, there will be the World Championship in April! But, even if we won’t make to the Worlds, the skills learned and the knowledge gained in the process alone will be worth all the effort that both the young students and their parents have invested.

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