2018 Colorado State VEX IQ Championships

Here are some thoughts from the team on this year’s state championships.


We did great at the 2017-2018 VEX IQ state championship. We got the Robot skills champion award and the Teamwork skills champion award. We drove with many other robots that helped to get us prepared for worlds and they were great at cooperating and we helped each other a lot. We are excited to go to worlds with other robots that we know of and meet ones that we don’t yet know. I love to meet new teams from all over the world and collaborate with them while driving and while just walking around and checking out other people’s robots. At states we had one big problem with our robot and we worked through it. It helped us to see how to fix certain problems and how to overcome them and drive well in the match. At states we also put up our biggest score at a tournament so far with the team The Brobots. Overall, our tournament went really well even though we had to overcome problems because having had to work through the problems, we learned so much that we can now take to Worlds.


We had a very successful and very exciting Colorado Vex IQ State Championship. While we waited for the Teamwork matches to start, we ran our program and drove Skills. Our program had a few malfunctions, and we learned a lot from them. We definitely have a few ideas for how we can improve our program for Worlds. Driving skills went very well, and we ended up scoring 183 points. After we had used up all of our skills runs, we looked at other robot designs to see what other teams had come up with. There were tons of interesting drive bases and lifts, and we noticed that a lot of teams grab rings off of the wall.

Teamwork matches started, and we got plenty of good pairings. We drove with a Berthoud team, and we ended up averaging 172.125 points. We drove with the Bro Bots and we won the finals with a score of 253 points.

We also learned a lot about sportsmanship and perseverance from the other teams at the event. Many teams had malfunctioning robots, rough matches, and other disappointments. However, they emerged from each difficulty with a smile. We hope to emulate this and face adversity with a positive attitude.

In conclusion, we had a very successful and exciting Colorado Vex IQ State Championship. We ended up winning the Robot Skills Champion Award and the Teamwork Champion Award. We learned a lot about how to improve our program, and just as much about sportsmanship and perseverance. We got to meet many teams we hadn’t seen before, and we saw quite a few interesting robot designs.


Personally, I thought states could have gone better than it did. We got driving matches that could’ve had great scores, but we messed up at some point during the drive and got a lower score than anticipated. It felt kind of relieving to say that we already had skills in our grasps, and we didn’t have to do anymore diving. While we didn’t get the scores we wanted, they were still pretty high. I got nervous to see the bro-bots post a 138 on their first match. Of course it was disappointing to not win Excellence, but I’ll take skills and teamwork; we can focus more on driving instead of judging at worlds.


I think that the 2017-2018 VEX iq state championship was a great Success! We won 2 awards, Teamwork Champion, and the Skills Champions award. We had a good experience with our other companions that we worked with, we spent a lot of time cheering on other teams and cooperated well. I liked walking around the pits and seeing other people’s robots, and giving compliments and criticism. I think that one of the greatest achievements is that we are 3rd in the world out of 2545 other middle school teams. I am super happy that the Row-Bots get to go to worlds. I am excited to got to Louisville, Kentucky for Worlds and have fun meeting other teams, even though some may be from other places and speak other languages. I Can’t wait for Kentucky Kingdom (;

Team 80516 is Going Back to Worlds!

By Coach Michelle | The Tiger Hawks had a great day at the Colorado VEX IQ Ringmaster State Championship, and got to drive with a wide variety of elementary and middle school teams from Colorado’s front range. As always, they learned a lot about teamwork and their robot, both from their successes and their challenges.

At the end of the day, they emerged as Teamwork Champions and Robot Skills Champions. They also held onto their #3 rank in the Middle School World Skills Standings, and they’re going back to the VEX IQ World Robotics Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, for the 2nd year in a row!

We’re excited to see Colorado so well represented at Worlds, and we’re especially happy to be traveling with a couple teams that have become friends of ours this season – Team 1069K–Kryptonite–from Berthod Robotics Club, and Team 6883T–the Row-Bots–from Precision Robotics.

Worlds starts on April 29, and we’ll try to post updates while we’re there (if time and WiFi allow it). It might be possible to watch live-streamed matches and see scores in real-time; the webcast tab at Robot Events should have options and info during the event.

Debut of “GrabbyScori” Robot at CECFC Tournament

CECFC awards

By Bethany | Today’s tournament went very well, and was a good debut of our new robot, named “GrabbyScori.” Our program scored 94 points out of the 180 we’ve gotten on our practice field, because it was moving too far left when scoring. We hope to fix this before our next competition. In driving, some things went wrong, but we still scored 177 points. In total, we scored 271, putting us at 13th place on the Worlds VEX IQ middle school scoreboard.

Teamwork went very well. We implemented many new strategies, and nearly all of them worked. A couple of times, we didn’t coordinate where on the field the robots would be, leading to collisions. From this, we learned that it is important to consider every part of a strategy.

There was one specific issue with the program that should probably be fixed soon. There is a 1-inch allowance when it comes to fields, and rings are often written on. The writing definitely doesn’t alter anything by an inch, but our color sorter sometimes seems to see the writing instead of the ring. This causes our color sorter to sort rings incorrectly.

We learned a lot about sportsmanship from other teams at the event. One team’s controller almost never connected, but they kept smiling. Another team had their program break again and again, and yet they continued trying until it worked.

Qualification Match Scores


Average: 111, Seed: 1

Finals Match Score



Driving high score: 177
Program high score: 94
Total skills score: 271
World skills ranking: 13


Robot Skills Champion
Teamwork Champion
STEM Award
Excellence Award

Things to Focus on Before Next Tournament

  • Practice STEM script more
  • Improve program’s ring scoring; clean up code and make it more robust
  • Continue practicing driving
  • Work on robot design to try to prevent dropping rings
  • Practice not interrupting each other during interviews

More thoughts on the Red Hawk Ringmaster tournament

By Bethany | Our 12/9 tournament went very well. We passed inspection immediately and went to skills. Unfortunately, on our first skills run, things went badly. Luckily, the score was dropped because the field was built incorrectly. We decided to then run our program (on a different field). The robot was moving along the field, bumped the wall, and missed the button. Dillon picked up the robot, set it in the starting square, and hit go again. There were a few issues with getting the refferees up to speed, which meant that the timer was stopped when the robot was touched. Once again, we got our run back. We  then drove skills again on one of the teamwork fields. Our robot started randomly moving when the controller wasn’t being moved, and it was determined that this was because of phones with bluetooth on interfering with our smart radios. That meant, yet again, our match was dropped. The referees also looked for other teams affected by this and dropped their scores too. Eventually, we ended up with a skills score of 92 and a programming score of 27, which was just  barely enough to earn us the Skills Champion award.

We also won the Excellence Award. We hope that it is because we did great, but it may have just been that we were the only Middle School team with a STEM project…

We were really excited for teamwork, but it didn’t go well at first. Our robot works really well with robots that grab rings off of the wall, but a couple of low scores dragged our average down. Once we got going, we earned a score of 148 points, which brought us up to second place. In the finals, we drove with the Yellow Spudnicks, who we drove with in a scrimmage. In the finals, we scored 132, which was enough for us and the Spudnicks to win the Teamwork Champion awards.

We didn’t just learn about strategy. Other teams, whether they knew it or not, taught us about perseverance. Many of the teams at the tournament only had a few weeks to assemble their robots and learn to drive, but their determination kept them at the top of the leaderboard. Other teams faced numerous difficulties but never argued or got upset.

Finally, we learned about troubleshooting. All throughout the day, things went wrong. Instead of telling us exactly what went wrong and why, our coach asked us what we thought had happened and how we thought we could fix the problem. Was it the driver? The robot? Was the field built wrong? We were tasked with figuring this out, and it helped us grow.

Our teamwork scores ranged from 25 points to 148 points. Our skills scores ranged from 2 points to 92 points. Our program ranged from 0 points to 27 points.

Over the course of the day, we became the second teamwork seed. In the finals, we scored 132 points.

At the scrimmage, we predicted that our strategy of grabbing ground rings would work well with other teams’ strategy of going for wall rings. This proved to be true.

Awards we won: Teamwork, Skills, Excellence, STEM

First Ringmaster Tournament!

By Coach Michelle and the team | The team attended their first Ringmaster event–the Red Hawk VEX IQ Robot Challenge–on Saturday, December 9th. Here are several team members’ thoughts on the event and how it went. Enjoy!


“I think that the tournament was a big success. It was fun to cheer our team on with the tiger mascot. I think it is cool that we already qualified for state at our first tournament. Skills went really well, but we had trouble with the program. The robot kept bumping the wall. Our main strategy was to do the ground rings and score on the posts and let the other team do the bonus bin and wall rings. I think it was a really fun and successful tournament over all.”


“I think that the tournament went very well. We ended up not getting our best score for skills, but that was the only bad thing and it wasn’t that bad. Our program scored a 27 which was the reason we won skills. Our teamwork skills were amazing, averaging 90 points per game. Plus in Finals we won with a 132! I think this tournament has been the best overall for us ever.”


“I say the competition was fun. The team I voted for sportsmanship didn’t get it. I enjoyed scoring all the points we did.  Winning with the Spudniks was also fun.”


“I think the competition went well, it was really fun and the team worked well together good. I saw the two people who were driving calmly talking to each other about what to do. When the drivers came back from a match, the rest of the team would congradulate them. I think we could improve our sportsmanship by making sure to congradulate both teams in each match. I think we could improve our driving strategy by trying to make it so our robot doesn’t miss as many rings. Overall, I think we had a great competition and we did really well for our first competition.”


“We did skills and got 92. We did programming and got 27.

Stradagy: Our stradagy to grab rings of the floor was good because most other teams only grabbed rings of the wall, or aimed for the ramp so the combanation was good.

Things to improve: Our robot sometimes got jammed when we picked up a ring and it got stuck under the ramp and made it so we couldnt score rings.

Things we did well at: We did well in skills and won teamwork. We also were improving on Teamwork in the later rounds. I Believe we did very good in the Finals because both Teams (ours and the Yellow Spudniks) were good at cooperating.

Awards: Skills, Teamwork, Eccllence, STEM”

VEX IQ Crossover World Championship

By Bethany | The first day of the world championship went very well. We placed multiple high scores and, for a short amount of time, we were even in 1st place for our division, with the highest average teamwork score.

We presented our STEM project, traded pins, and submitted our Engineering Journal for review. We managed to qualify for the Technology Division finals as the 7th seed out of 77 teams.

The team was asked to be interviewed on live television, and I got to talk while Dylan Baer drove a clawbot (our robot was currently competing in a match).

We met teams from all over the world, including China, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates.

The design interview went well, with the judges asking the usual questions, such as “What roles did each person play?”, and “How did you come up with this design?”. They came back a second time during the TV interview and asked similar questions.

In one qualifying match, our robot stopped working while we were waiting in line. We had to drive the placebo bot, which was just a clawbot. The placebo robot was broken but still driveable, so we continued the match using the broken placebo bot. From that match we learned to keep on going even when things don’t go particularly well.

Overall, our first time at worlds was really fun. We learned a lot from the other robots and teams, placed 7th for the qualifying matches in the Technology Division, and drove in the division Finals. The Crossover season was a great one, and the Tiger Hawks are looking forward to the new challenge: Ringmaster.

Reflections on the State Championships

Teamwork Champions match at Colorado State VEX IQ Championship

By Dylan | It was stressful. I felt stressed that you and your team wouldn’t do well enough to make it to Worlds, but at the same time I felt grateful to have the chance to even be at State.

When I was driving for Skills or Teamwork I felt stressed out, but also it was a lot of fun because I got to hang out with my friends and drive robots. When I wasn’t driving and I was watching my teammates drive I was worried and watching them the whole time hoping that they would score well.

When our name was announced as the Excellence Award I felt like all my hard work had paid off and I felt grateful to be part of the TigerHawks team.

Team 80516 is Going to Worlds!!!!

CO VEX Championship

By Bethany | Today was the Colorado State Championship for VEX IQ, and it was AWESOME!

We started by presenting our STEM research project, which went pretty well. It was fast, and the judges only asked two questions. We remembered all of our lines and nobody made any mistakes.

We moved on to running the program after passing inspection. It didn’t do very well (only 30 points), but we eventually realized why. It was very bright where the fields were, and that messed up our color sensor, which searches for black lines.

Driving skills went better, with Parker and Dylan scoring 65 points.

Teamwork went very well, although some of the 10 matches went better than others. We were the final match in the finals, paired with Chazak, and managed to score 65 points, which got us teamwork champions and qualified us for the VEX IQ World Championships! Our right gear train was barely working during the finals match, and balancing the bridge was very hard, but we made it!!!

We were given the Middle School Excellence Award, which also qualified us for worlds. We were very happy to hear that we got to keep the massive banners for our robotics lab, but we have no idea where to put them.

We are also so excited that Team Chazak qualified for worlds, too, and we are happy to be making the trip to worlds with them.

Fall River Tournament Report

By Maia | The Fall River Elementary VEX IQ tournament was awesome!  After we got our robot checked in, we presented our STEM Project.  The judges thought it was great, which made us feel good because we had been working so hard on it.

After STEM, we went to the Skills area to get some driving and programming in.  Driving went okay and we scored 65 points.  Our program didn’t do so well. It seemed to have some bugs it in.

The Teamwork matches were okay.  Usually I like to be the second driver, but for one match I drove first and got four hexballs in the high goals before driver switch! For the teamwork finals, we were paired with a very large robot and we knew it would be very hard to get balanced on the bridge with them.  Our drivers got several hexballs in the goals and got both robots on the bridge, but we weren’t balanced at the final buzzer.  Luckily our score was still enough to get us first place!

Our final score of 95 got us first place in Skills, also. We were really excited that we earned the STEM Project award because we had not gotten that before and we were really proud of our work.  To top it off, we earned our third Excellence Award of the season!

I am very proud of my team for their hard work on the STEM Project and getting first place in Teamwork and Skills.  We will be working on fixing our program later on.

Robot-CYO Tournament earned us another Excellence Award!

By Bethany | Today in the early qualification matches things didn’t go particularly well. We didn’t get very high scores, mostly because of troubles getting on the bridge with our allies. We were in 8th or 9th place when we got paired with Chazak for match # 36.

Our strategy with Chazak was for them to grab all 4 hex balls off the wall and score them while we were doing the same with orange. The bridge would start tilted to our side and we would cross over to them so that we could go on the bridge first with them coming up behind us. We did the bridge this way because their robot, which is so much heavier than ours, would tip the bridge if they went on first. If the lighter robot, which is often ours, goes on first it is much easier to balance.

After our match with Chazak, where we scored 63 points, we became 2nd place and they became 1st. We stayed in 2nd place until our last match, where we scored 55 points with Juggernaut, which brought us up to 1st.

In the finals match we were paired with Chazak again, and used the same strategy. This time we were able to do it much faster and we scored 65 points with 25 seconds left on the clock! This got us a Teamwork Champion award.

We presented our STEM project for the 2nd time, after making lots of changes and additions to it based on the last tournament. We did better than last time, but we still have much room to improve.

In the skills challenges, early in the morning we were in 1st place with a combined score of 70 (55 for driving and 15 with the new program). Then Chazak managed to get a combined score of 101 and we managed to get a combined score of 100 (45 with the old program). While we were trying to get our new program to score 65, Chazak scored 65 in driving skills and 61 in programming, putting them at a combined score of 126, getting them the skills champion award and putting them at #12 on the world skills board. We were impressed!

Our interview with the judges went pretty well, but could have gone better. We need to practice answering interview questions so we are all more prepared. They were very impressed by our engineering journal, especially Maia’s SnapCAD model of the robot.

During the awards ceremony, we got the Excellence Award, and Chazak got the Design Award. It was a great day of competition, and we were happy to get to work with Chazak in two different matches. We also got lots of practice balancing on the bridge with VERY big robots!