What’s new?
With the contributions from our sponsors and the support of our parents this year we have been able to add seven new computers, a second competition field, and an electronic scoring system.These purchases will be used in years to come and they allow us to host tournaments. Being able to host events gives our teams more competition opportunity and they raise funds from registration fees and concession sales.In addition to the VexEDR programs for middle and high school students we have now added a VexIQ program for elementary students. This year five VexIQ teams represented Hudsonville and two made it to the state finals.

How are the funds used?
The majority of the funds received are used to purchase robotic parts and tools for the students and to cover the cost of tournament registration. Our coaches, mentors, and support staff are all volunteers and our facility is provided by Hudsonville Public Schools.

In the 2016-17 season we supported 65 students on 16 teams. Our teams so far have earned almost 40 awards, nine teams competed in the regional tournament, seven competed in the state tournament, and four competed in the world tournament. There are over 500 Vex teams in Michigan.

How does this program work?
Students are placed on teams of four or five students to build one robot. They have a standard library of parts and sensors that they use to design, build and program a robot to compete on a field with other robots in a timed event. No instruction book is provided – students have to create their own engineering notebook – and adults are not allowed to contribute.  Mentors are available to help them figure out the answers to their questions.

Now some designs are successful while others are not. This competition model inspires students continuously improve their robot.   They perform research and collaborate with other teams (sometimes even teams from other schools) to figure out a design that helps them win.  Their design changes also involve a lot of testing, tuning, and practice.

During events teams will compete in qualifying matches and elimination rounds. They will also compete in a solo timed skills events where a student drives the robot and where the robot drives itself (autonomously).  Finally, teams will meet with a panel of judges where they defend the design of their robot.

How does this program benefit students?
Statistically more students in robotics programs are college bound, receive grants and scholarships, or are given internship opportunities from area companies than any other school competition model. This program promotes the use of S.T.E.M (or S.T.E.A.M) principles with a strong emphasis in technology, engineering, design, and project management.

How can I help?
Hudsonville Robotics, under Hudsonville Public Schools, is a 501(c)(3) charity and all contributions are tax deductible. Those interested in making a financial donation to Hudsonville Robotics can send checks to the following address:

Hudsonville Public Schools
Robotics Program
3886 Van Buren St.
Hudsonville, MI 49426