CCISD Robotics Students Earn Top Ranks at World Championship

By: Sydney Hunt
| Published 06/22/2021

Myreen Ahsan, Sanaya Ali and Iza Momin on Team 1116M Rock-It-Bots from North Pointe Elementary won the Excellence Award in the IQ Challenge Elementary Science Division for the World Championship.
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LEAGUE, TX -- Clear Creek ISD robotics students ended the school year on a high note after competing in the 2021 VEX Worlds Live-Remote Championship. Students participated in either the VEX Robotics Competition or VEX IQ Challenge multi-day tournaments with more than 1,400 teams from 30 different countries.

Team 1116M Rock-It-Bots, a group of third grade students from North Pointe Elementary, won the Excellence Award in the IQ Challenge Elementary Science Division, which is the highest honor in the competition. This is also the first time a team from Texas has won this award. Westbrook Intermediate’s Team 7421C Flaming Phoenix was the tournament sub-division finalist and won the Design Award in the VEX Robotics Middle School Technology Division, the second-highest award in the competition. Team 1116X Rock-It-Bots Xtreme, two 6th grade Westbrook Intermediate students, claimed the Innovative Award for the VEX IQ Middle School Science Division, the third-highest judged award.

“CCISD had 13 total teams compete in the World Championship after qualifying at the Texas Region 3 Championships this year,” said Robotics and Engineering Program Manager James Jobe. “We are proud of the dedication and hard work of these students and their sponsors to overcome the obstacles this year and come out on top to represent the district at the highest level of competition.”

To ensure the safety of its robotics community due to the pandemic, the event adapted to a virtual format. According to the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation website, it was recognized by Guinness World Records® as the Largest Online Robot Championships record holder. The cutting-edge technology displayed allowed a team located in one country to easily compete with a team in another country, offering the possibility for even more students to get involved in robotics.

“This virtual competition was definitely more challenging,” said Jobe. “With all events in our region up to this point being a hybrid format, but mostly in person, the students did not have much experience with live remote events. But they all did a great job competing at the CCISD Robotics Event Center, on campus or at home.”

To finish off the season, CCISD also hosted the Space City Showcase for the VEX IQ Challenge and Robotics Competitions on June 4-5, 2021.

Team 3118B Astrobots from Clear Brook High School and Team 7421C Flaming Phoenix from Westbrook Intermediate won the Excellence Awards for their respective divisions. Team 826C Patribots from Parr Elementary won a Design Award and Team 7421A Cyberbot from Westbrook Intermediate won an Innovative Award for their robot.

“These were the first in-person events in Texas since March 2020,” said Jobe. “CCISD is currently the only school district in the world to have a dedicated robotics event facility. The CCISD Robotics Event Center was featured prominently throughout these last two events, so we feel very fortunate to provide this space to our students and teams throughout the region.”

Team 1116M Rock-It-Bots, Team 7421C Flaming Phoenix and Team 2218B Astrobots now qualify for the 2022 VEX World Championship next year in Dallas.

Lucien Junkin, NASA engineer, lead mentor for the CCISD Robonauts and supporter of all district robotics, was also recently inducted to the STEM Hall of Fame as an Inspiration All-Star. Lucien was nominated by Clear Brook High School’s Astrobots, Team 3118B, for his support of robotics programs throughout CCISD and Pasadena ISD.

“Robotics in the Houston area would not be where it is today without the 25 years of dedication that Lucien has made to the Robonauts and engaging students in engineering across the region,” said Jobe. “Lucien is one of only two people to receive both this award and the FIRST’s Championship Woodie Flowers award. We are so honored and privileged to have Lucien be a leader for CCISD robotics.”