TA News

TA Robotics Team 4886 Launches New Season

TA’s VEX Robotics team 4886 is gearing up for the launch of its 2021-2022 season. With a new dedicated space in the former “Choral Mansion”–now outfitted with workbenches, robot parts, and a practice field–4886 is excited to take on this year’s VEX challenge, VEX VRC Tipping Point. The team is currently recruiting TA students in both middle and high school who enjoy tinkering with motors, structures, and computers, who like making stuff and STEM, and are looking for some collaborative teamwork and spirited competition to round out their school experience.

Robotics Team 4886 will meet every school day from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The team will work in groups of 2-4 students to design and build motorized remote-controlled robots to compete against those from schools throughout VT and NH. “There’s a lot to learn in making a successful robot and teamwork is important,” team mentor Leif LaWhite said, “but the the old-timers will help newcomers get started and everyone is welcome to be a part of the team.” 4886 competes in the VT/NH league of the VEX VRC Robotics Competition and has often earned spots at both the State and World Championship competitions.

Though practice begins on the first day of school in August, the season really ramps up in September. The robots grow in complexity and sophistication throughout the fall and by late October, a few groups will have their robots ready to travel to competitions on Saturdays. From November to February, the team will continue to refine and improve their robots–and the competitions heat up. A strong performance in the VT/NH State championships in mid-February will send 4886 on to the World Championship in Dallas, TX in April 2022.

Interested students can come to a practice anytime, though early participation and a steady commitment is strongly encouraged. Should a part-year commitment to a fall sport or other obligation prevent early participation, the team is ready to add new members into an existing group later in the season. Students who can’t join the team every day are also welcome–there is a place for everyone on 4886. For more information about the team and VEX Robotics, stop by a team practice or contact team mentor Leif LaWhite. For a look at VEX Robotics in action, check out TA’s own Tate and Isaiah at the Middle-School World Championship Tournament a few years ago:

Featured photo: Members of TA’s award-winning robotics team in pre-Covid days.



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