Fairmont State University’s VEX Robotics team, the “Millennial Falcons,” recently competed in the Catskills VEX U Robotics Competition. The event was held at SUNY Sullivan in Loch, Sheldrake, N.Y., on Feb. 18. The Millennial Falcons are a rookie VEX U team, and this was their first tournament competition.
VEX U is the college level portion of VEX Robotics, which is sponsored by the REC Foundation. VEX Robotics and the study of competitive robotics encompasses all four pillars of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. It also encourages important life skills like teamwork, communication and project-based organization. VEX gives students hands-on, sustainable and cost-effective approaches to help engage and maintain their interest in STEM.
At the event the Millennial Falcons competed with New Jersey Institute of Technology, NY Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Old Dominion and the host team, SUNY Sullivan. The Falcons won in their quarter final rounds and advanced to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by the tournament champions, NYIT.
The team won the Judges Award at the competition, which goes to a team the judges decide is deserving of special recognition. According to the REC Foundation web site: “Judges consider a number of possible criteria for this award, such as team displays of special attributes, exemplary effort and perseverance at the event and team accomplishments or endeavors throughout the season that may not fall under existing awards, but are nonetheless deserving of special recognition.”
The Millennial Falcons are led by Coach and Lead Advisor Beth Thompson. Team mentors include Musat Crihalmeanu and Michael Thompson. Other members of the team who traveled to the event are Pam Morris, Edmond Harvey, Randi Tinney, Caroline Thompson, Jack Thompson and Drew Burget.