Robotics teams head to California for world championship this weekend

For the first time in six years, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute’s robotics team, the High Tech Parrots, earned spots in the VEX Robotics High School World Championships. It takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California from April 17-20.

“I like everything, every aspect about robotics: the building, the programming, the competition, the teamwork,” says Ryan, a junior year student at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

“This team is doing exceptionally well. They’ve won 16 trophies already. They’ve won two slots in the world championship and that’s a lot when you consider how many teams are trying for it,” says Ron Hoge, the robotics teacher at the school.

“Every competition we go to, we always find something that we can change the next time we go back,” says Dorinel Binns-Wallace, an alumnus of the school, and the team’s Robotics Advisor.

From Wednesday through Friday, the 420 teams in attendance will participate in team meetings and skills challenges to prepare for the playoffs tournament on Saturday.

“If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, we tweak it. I’ve spent entire competitions tweaking a program, so pretty much, I’ll do what I can,” says Stephen, a senior year student.

“What I love about robotics is the kids have to conceptualize a problem, they’ve got to solve the problem, they have to build something that does it, and then they have to do it,” says Hoge. “Then, they have to go back and fix it when it doesn’t work right. It’s the full package for them.”

“I think it will be a great experience to be able to go out to California and compete against people I’ve never met before on a world-wide scale,” says Stuart, another senior year student on the team.