As the 2016-17 season comes to a close I wanted to share some key points on the state of the Hudsonville Robotics program.
The EDR program (HS/MS) had 66 students with seven high school and eight middle school teams. The teams earned 39 awards including three Excellence, five Design, and 16 Tournament Champion. Nine teams advanced to the Regional level, seven teams advanced to States, and four teams attended the World Tournament.
Hudsonville Robotics collaborated with Hudsonville Public Schools to offer an independent study program for four high schools students. The course was a success and we plan on having further conversations with HPS to see how it can improve.
The REC Foundation has started a program called to to increase the number of girls involved with education and competition programs. This year 11% of our students were girls and 1/3 of our state qualifying teams had female members. While the Vex Robotics competition model is a pretty even playing field when it comes to gender and many of our teams were indifferent as to the gender of their teammates, we still want to educate parents and the community that this is a great program for introducing all students to S.T.E.M. related skills.
This year Hudsonville Robotics added a VexIQ pilot program for students in grades 4-6. There were 25 students on five teams. The teams earned two awards this year and two of the teams advanced to the State finals.
We have added two new members to the board, Dana Jones and Tom Elenbaas to coordinate the VexIQ program.
On May 25 we hosted an open house with over 50 new students interested in the program.
We plan on offering summer courses for both EDR and IQ to give students opportunities to work with the robots in preparation for the 2017 fall competition season.
We are meeting with the Event Partners in Michigan to plan the tournament offerings for next year.