The South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind (SCSDB)’s middle school robotics team, the Ninja Hornets, won the national championship trophy at the VEX IQ Competition at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind on February 25.
Competing in their first-ever national competition, the Ninja Hornets won first place against 33 other teams from across the country.
“Our boys kept all of us on our toes the entire time with their scores, staying in the first-place ranking against other schools,” said Jessica Gribble, teacher at the School for the Deaf and robotics team coach. “Other schools were talking about the excitement and all the emotions they felt during that time. This is a big deal for our school, and we couldn’t be prouder of this team.”
According to the Vex Robotics website, VEX IQ is a robot construction system based on plastic, snap-together pieces specifically designed to build highly functional robots. In the VEX IQ Competition, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play with other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.
The SCSDB Ninja Hornets will advance to VEX Worlds 2023 in Dallas later this Spring.
“The competition was crazy! I kept checking our robot between matches to make sure it was together and working because it was my job to solve any new problems with my team,” said Toby Allen, seventh-grader and member of robotics team. “I am so happy we came home champions, and I am excited about flying to Texas.”