SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 26, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Oyster River Middle School Robotics Team Heads to World Championship
DURHAM — Principal Jay Richards is pleased to announce that one of Oyster River Middle School’s VEX IQ robotics teams will be heading to the World Championship next month.
Over the winter, a team of four middle school students — seventh graders Kelly Zang and Michael O’Laughlin and eighth graders Andrew Kelly and Vincent Xiao — competed at the New Hampshire and Vermont state round of the VEX IQ Challenge at Manchester Community College. Their performance solidified them as one of two teams to qualify for the World Championship.
This year’s competition, titled the VEX IQ Ringmaster, required students to design and build a robot that would earn the highest number of points by mastering sophisticated driving and programming commands.
To succeed in minute-long challenges, a robot had to be able to pick up and place colored rings in certain areas and on post-like structures on a 4-foot by 8-foot playing field, and use its arms to release a bonus tray full of additional rings. The more difficult the task, the more points the team earned.
Oyster River Middle School robotics teams first competed at the district level, with three moving onto the state level. There, Zang, O’Laughlin, Kelly and Xiao won the teamwork championship award, robot design award and the robot skills award, securing them a spot at the World Championship.
The team of four will head to the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky on April 29-May 1 where they’ll represent the Oyster River Cooperative School District and New Hampshire.
“This is a special group of kids who have tackled a number of challenges throughout this process, which is what has made them successful,” Robotics Coach John Silverio said. “On top of being extremely intelligent and talented, each of these students has a certain skill set that complements the other, like engineering and programming. The World Championship is going to be a tough competition, but the students have quite a robot and are excited to show off what they can do.”
Silverio, along with Oyster River Middle School Robotic Coach Jason Duff, re-launched the robotics program in 2014. This is the first year students have worked with VEX IQ robots.
In order to travel to Kentucky for the competition, the robotics team is fundraising to help offset some of the costs.
Residents who wish to make a donation to the robotics team can do so through the team’s Gofundme page here.
About the Oyster River Cooperative School District:
New Hampshire SAU 5, the Oyster River Cooperative School District serves 2,100 students in Durham, Lee and Madbury. It is one of the oldest cooperative districts in the state. The Oyster River Cooperative School District has a long history of providing excellent educational opportunities for its students. The District is committed to and supportive of quality education. This commitment and support have helped the district recruit and maintain an excellent teaching staff and outstanding administrative leadership team.