Robotics team 169, The Cavalry, has been one of the strongest VEX Robotics programs for many years. Sixth Formers Owen Gormley and Maxim Kreider have worked hard to lead the team through the difficult 2020-2021 school year. Even with all of the COVID-19 restrictions and other obstacles, they were able to produce some of the best robots in the world, along with teaching some underclassmen the basics of robotics.
“This year was tough for 169,” Kreider said, “We lost a lot of the team structure because everybody was separated. I mean, we had guys in China that couldn’t come here to compete.”
Generally, the team works in the shop, where teams can share ideas and work together to produce high-quality robots. This year, most of the work was done at home, where students had brought parts and tools from the shop.
“It was rough,” Gormley said, “but our teams still learned a lot from this season.”
Both Kreider’s team and Gormley’s team got knocked out in the semi-finals of their divisions in Worlds, an incredibly high level of competition. They also competed in a signature event in Kalahari which was also a high level of competition.
Kreider and Gormley said they learned valuable lessons from VEX.
“Learning how to work with a team is really important,” Gormley said. “I learned how to trust my teammates to do good work. I also learned just how to put work into the robot, just spending hours tuning and building.”
“Being able to work on an engineering project collaboratively is really important, especially if you want to go into that field,” Kreider said.
Both believe that the team can still be improved. “We need a middle school program for VEX, not just VEX IQ,” Gormley said.
“We need a feeder program,” Kreider said. “We need to make this program worth it for students to join.”
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