group of students singing at the convocation

The Mighty ROBO-RANGERS finish as TCEA Area 1 Champions for 4th Year in a row

The Mighty Robo-Rangers robotics teams from Mission CISD dominated the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Area 1 Robotics Competition for the 4th year in a row. The competition was held at Robert Vela High School on January 13, 2018. The Robo-Ranger teams from Alton Memorial Jr High (AMJH) finished as TCEA Area 1 Champions in both the Advanced Arena and Advanced Inventions categories.

              The Cobalt Robo-Rangers team defended their 1st place Advanced Inventions title from the previous year and are now back-to-back Champions in the Advanced Inventions category. The Platinum Robo-Rangers team are also Champions in the Advanced Arena category. The Platinum Robo-Rangers dominated the Advanced Arena category by out-performing all their opponents by more than 70 points and an average score of 307 after three matches. Another notable top finishing team was the Titanium Robo-Rangers placing fifth in the Advance Arena category. The AMJH Robo-Rangers dominated the entire Advanced division in both the Inventions and Arena categories and both teams have qualified for the TCEA State Robotics Championship which will be held on April 7, 2018.

In the Intermediate Arena category, the AMJH Green Robo-Rangers finished in 3rd place of all the middle schools which is a tough category with 169 total teams. Another top performance was the AMJH Black Robo-Rangers finishing in 4th Place of all middle schools.  The AMJH Robo-Rangers directly mentor Midkiff MavBots 1 and they finished in 1st Place of all the Elementary schools competing. The Midkiff MavBots 1 also finished in 3rd Place overall in the Intermediate Arena category. This marks the first-time ever that the TCEA Area 1 Robotics Competition recognizes elementary schools in their own Intermediate Division in each of the Arena and Inventions categories. This is also the first-time ever that an elementary school team from Mission CISD earns a 1st Place Championship Award.

TCEA regulations state that teams that placed first and second in their categories automatically advance to the TCEA State competition to be held around April. Teams that finish a close third place, fourth, and fifth can also advance to the state competition pending a wildcard invitation by TCEA.

Results for the Advanced Inventions teams from AMJH -

1st Place Cobalt Robo-Rangers: Victoria Araujo (Captain), Cristian Sanchez, Jasmine Trevino, and Ally Ledezma.

Results for the Advanced Arena teams from AMJH-

1st Place Platinum Robo-Rangers: Andres Osornio (Captain), Michael Vasquez, and Abraham Hernandez.

5th Place Titanium Robo-Rangers: Sebastian Luna (Captain), Efren Carrillo, Alexis Rodriguez, and Jose Garcia

Results for the Intermediate Arena teams from AMJH-

3rd Place Green Robo-Rangers- Victoria Ledezma (Captain), Manuel Lopez, and Diego Garza.

4th Place Black Robo-Rangers – Javier Luna, Erick Ramirez, and Leonel Salinas.

In the Invention contests, teams of two to four students create and develop a robotic invention to demonstrate a solution for a problem of their choice. This showcases research, robot performance, robot design, marketing, and presentation skills for a panel of judges. Students approach their problem as a real team of engineers working together to solve their problem using the engineering design process. Teams then document their work in an engineering notebook which demonstrates the process of how they solved their problem followed by a six-minute presentation in front of a judging panel.

              The Arena contest is a more prescribed problem contest. Teams of two to four students receive a set of challenge rules and specifications designed around a theme that varies from year to year. This year’s theme is “Mastering Mars” and is designed around the theme of preparing an environment on Mars ready for human settlement and iron mining.  Students had to design and innovate a robot using the EV3 and NXT platforms of Lego Mindstorms to accomplish several objectives. This entailed months of preparation, brainstorming, designing, and programming. The challenge is designed around the theme that changes every year.

In the 2017-2018 TCEA Mindstorms Robotics Challenge titled “Mastering Mars”, a team’s robot must perform specific tasks on the game challenge field within the 2-minute time limit. There are six (6) tasks to perform all done autonomously which can be completed in any order and not all tasks must be performed. All team’s robots had to strategically be programmed prior to the competition and debugged throughout the competition. Each task completed by the robot accumulates points, though the tasks are not evaluated until the end of the match.

In “Mastering Mars,” a team’s robot had to perform specific tasks on the challenge field. The EV3 or NXT Robots had to: Collect and move the non-radioactive soil samples to the base camp, Collect and move water vapor to the base camp, Collect and move ice to the base camp, deploy a Satellite Tower, contain Alien Life form, and perform a Mystery Task. The Mighty Robo-Ranger coaches/sponsors are: Robert Granados, Samantha Granados, Sammy Rivera, David Bridgewater, Damaris Rivera, and Rosalva Gonzalez.

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