Members of the Spartan Robotics team are (row one) Gray Randall, Isaac Hendricks, Remington Kringle, Henry Loukes, Henry Seyer and Landry Scott; (row two) Henry Schiltz, Amara Mincoff, Vivian McRaith, Cecelia Flood, Lucy Peterson, Sarayu Gade and Serena Mincoff; and (row three) Noah Hafstad, Andreas Cortez, Max Delf, Zachary Haughian, Eli Helgeson, Michael Peterson, Jacob Charron, Siddharth Ganesh and Lohith Kommu. (Submitted photo)

On Jan. 27, 10 elementary and middle school robot teams from the St. Joseph School, Rice Lake, robotics club, Spartan Robotics, competed at an elementary/middle school combined VEX IQ tournament hosted by Whitehall Middle School. In this year’s game, “Full Volume,” teams of two to four students design, program and test robots that can collect and sort various colored blocks for scoring in one of three goal areas. At the end of each match, teams were challenged to park their robot in a designated zone on the field. Between matches, teams were judged on their robot design process and design journals by a team of professionals. Additionally, student teams participated in the skills challenge attempting to score the most points in a one-minute autonomous program and an additional one-minute driver-controlled program.

The Spartan Robotics Team named Ctrl-Z, consisting of St. Joseph fifth-graders Jacob Charron and Michael Peterson, paired with a Black River Falls middle school team to win the overall tournament champions award. Additionally, they won the skills challenge at the event and were awarded the elementary-level excellence award by the tournament judges as the best overall robot at the event. Team Ctrl-Z is currently ranked first in the state in elementary robotics. Several other St. Joseph elementary-level teams excelled at the tournament. Team Triple-Threat, formed by fourth-graders Max Delf, Eli Helgeson and Zach Haughian, placed second at the tournament, earning an invitation to the state tournament in March for their performance. Team Beast 2.0, consisting of fifth-graders Siddarth Ganesh and Lohith Kommu, were awarded the Judges Award at the tournament. They also received an invitation to the state tournament based on their skills score.