Indian River district well-represented at world robotics competitions

GEORGETOWN – Indian River School District will be well-represented at international robotics competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

Teams from Selbyville Middle School, Long Neck Elementary, Lord Baltimore Elementary, Georgetown Elementary, Georgetown Middle School and Indian River High School qualified for the VEX Robotics World competition through state SuperBot competition staged in February at Georgetown Elementary School.

Mountaire Farms’ David Smith presents a check representing Mountaire’s support of the Georgetown Middle School’s Robotic Knights team that will compete in international competition in Louisville, Kentucky April 28 through May 1. From left: David Smith, Wyatt Warner, coach Melissa Bleile, John Abbott, Mark Wilkins and Anthony Mills.

“It’s worlds; people from all over the world will be there,” said Melissa Bleile, coach of Georgetown Middle School’s Robotic Knights team.

Long Neck Elementary and Lord Baltimore both qualified in their first year of robotics competition.  So did Indian River High School.

Georgetown Middle School’s Robotic Knights landed the “Excellence” award in leading the middle school pack at the state event. The team is hoping to cash in point-wise with a modification.

“We just got a new claw,” said Georgetown Middle School sixth grader Wyatt Warner, who competed at the 2017 VEX international event with a Georgetown Elementary entry. “So, we’re trying to work with it. Right now, we have a little bit of a problem but we’re trying to get it fixed.”

“We’re doing pretty good right now. We just have to work on the front of our robot, like Wyatt said,” said classmate Mark Wilkins.

In this competition, students assemble their robots from kits. The four-man Robotic Knights team subsequently made some changes.

“We switched the claw because this was a better design. With the other one we couldn’t pick up as many rings and get as many points as with his claw,” said GMS seventh grader. “So that is why we switched to this claw.”

“They have made some modifications to the claw to earn more points,” said Ms. Bleile. “They are really hoping to score big, because they scored big during the state competition here. They did really well.”

Robotics Knights member John Abbott is hoping for both success and fun. “It’s mainly to have fun with the team and hopefully try to win a couple of trophies,” he said. “It’s mainly just about going there and being there for the first time for me.”

Long Neck, Lord Baltimore, Georgetown Elementary and Georgetown Middle will compete in the VEX IQ World championship April 29-May 1 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY.

Selbyville Middle and Indian River High School are going to the VEX championship April 25-28 at the same venue.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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