HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Hope students will face off against the best teams in the U.S. and worldwide in the world robotics championship this April.

Two robotics teams from Hope Academy of Public Services took top honors at the Arkansas state championships, with the Vexes taking second place in the teamwork challenge and the Flamethrowers coming in 6th out of all teams in the state. They’ve secured spots for the world robotics championship in Dallas, happening April 25 – May 4. Both teams are part of Hope Public Schools’ HopeBots robotics teams.

HopeBots heading to world robotics competition
HopeBots heading to world robotics competition (Source: Hope Public Schools)

Over 23,000 teams from 58 countries participated in over 2,300 events worldwide for a shot at the VEX IQ Championships. Competing elementary and middle school teams design, build, and program robots using VEX IQ.

Mr. Born, the team’s coach, said, “I am beyond proud of all the competitors for the dedication it takes to not only go to the state championship but that they accomplished it in their first year of robotics! All teams finished in the top third of teams across the state, and having two teams make it to Worlds is incredible. We wouldn’t have gotten here without the support of families and community sponsors of EPIC Student Ministries and Main Street Cleaners.”

This year’s competition, Slapshot, is played on a 6×8 ft. field. Teams create robots that interact with five dispensers holding 45 disks. Competitors’ robots must launch the disks under the fence into one of the four goal zones.

The VEX IQ Competition fosters teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

In the first round, two teams will collaborate in a slapshot challenge to score as many points as possible. Teams will also compete in driving skills and programming skills challenge matches. The scores from the driving and programming challenges are combined to determine the robot skills champions.

The HopeBots are holding a fundraiser Friday in Texarkana to help get the team to Dallas for the Championships. Panda Express will donate 20% of the cost of your meal on April 14 from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Tell them you are ordering for the HopeBots, or show them the flyer to donate 20% to the competing teams.

HopeBots fundraiser at Panda Express
HopeBots fundraiser at Panda Express (Source: Hope Public Schools)

The Hope High School team, the BotCats, also won big this year, taking home 1st place in Diversity in their November 2022 Best Robotics Competition. Male and female students on the team represent four grades. The team represents three ethnicities and includes exchange students from Kosovo, Liberia, Italy, and Nigeria.