St. Simon students display STEM skills at 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship

From Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 18, three of Saint Simon's robotics teams joined over 850 VEX teams from 29 countries in Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the VEX Worlds 2015, the final competition of the robotics season presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation.  Student participants included:  Riley Cobar, Alex Eiger, Hunter Lippert, Andrew Lutsky, Gianni Magarelli, Kyle Magallanes, Samantha Phillips, Marcelo Pierry, John Powell, Atila Schrieber, Carson Smith and Olivia Wang, assisted by parent mentors Cris Pierry and Jared Schrieber.  

The VEX World Championships were started in 2008 with close to 100 teams.  In 2015, more than 12,000 VEX robotics teams competed worldwide in five program divisions hosted by the REC Foundation, including: VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School World Championship (ages 8-10), VEX IQ Challenge Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14), VEX Robotics Competition Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14), VEX Robotics Competition High School World Championship (ages 15-18) and VEX U (ages 18+).  

The VEX IQ platform, added in 2013, involves elementary and middle school students using robotics to design, build, and program a robot to solve an engineering challenge presented in the form of a game.  During the game challenge, VEX IQ teams collaborate to score points in Teamwork Matches and demonstrate their skills in driver controlled and autonomous Skills Challenges.  Saint Simon students competed and partnered with teams as far away as Bahrain, South Korea, Paraguay and China.  

A parade of nations started off the sensational global competition on Thursday as students made their way into the Kentucky Expo Center's Freedom Hall.  Following the parade, teams kicked off an intense and competitive three-day series of matches and skills challenges.  Competition continued with final qualification matches on Friday, culminating in a spectacular 2015-2016 New Game Reveal for attendees. On Saturday, top performing teams were paired during the alliance process, and fields narrowed during the final division playoffs against the backdrop of a dramatic pyrotechnic light show while final teams competed and awards were presented.  

"I am incredibly proud of our students and their accomplishments this year" said Saint Simon Principal Steve Rummell. "Our teams spent endless hours this year designing, testing, and programming the robots. During the event they repeatedly demonstrated creative problem solving skills, teamwork, and grace under pressure while having a having a fantastic time.  It truly was the experience of a lifetime."

Pictured above are team members from Saint Simon's robotics teams. Photo courtesy of Patricia Rossi Photography.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation ( works to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by involving students in hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs internationally and across the U.S. via partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community.