Concordia Shanghai Aug 8 2023

Concordia STEM: An Epic 2nd Grade VEX Robotics Battle

In an exhilarating display of ingenuity and collaboration, second-grade students at Concordia took part in a thrilling, in-house VEX GO Robotics Sumo competition on June 6th. The elementary school corridors pulsated with energy and innovative spirit as these young minds dove headfirst into a challenge that melded strategy, creativity, and camaraderie.


Teamwork, Creativity, and Strategy

Grouped into high-spirited teams, the students explored the realms of engineering, designing, and creating their very own push-robots. These robots, marvels of their makers' dexterity and imagination, underwent iterative modifications before taking their positions in the sumo ring. Here, in an arena bursting with anticipation, they faced off in an electrifying contest that put their creators' strategic and engineering skills to the ultimate test.


Crafting the in-house sumo game's rules were none other than the Concordia teachers Mrs. De Shunda Flowers (2nd Grade teacher and ES robotics leader), Mrs. Alexis Snider (ES STEM coach) , and Dr. Yujiro Fujiwara (Head of STEM). All second-grade educators threw themselves into their roles as coaches, guiding their students through the complex yet fascinating world of the engineering process in preparation for the competition.

The objective of the competition was a strategic blend of brute force and precision control: push the opponent's robot out of a defined square arena within a minute. The game demanded more than just a powerful push, though. Robots faced immediate defeat if two of their wheels stayed outside the ring for three seconds, or if all four wheels were pushed out completely.


Design, Control, and Sportsmanship

But it wasn't as simple as building the most hulking metal monster! Factors like speed, control, dexterity, and engineering design formed crucial elements that students had to carefully consider. If neither of the robots fell within the stipulated minute, the match resulted in a draw, prompting a thrilling speed race in a straight line to the finish to determine the victor.

The entire event was a fascinating flurry of excitement, STEM creativity, and hands-on learning for the Concordia students. By immersing themselves in deep STEM experiences, they discovered a love for robotics challenges, learned how to effectively use their robots, and developed a commendable spirit of sportsmanship.


In an era where STEM fields continue to expand and shape our world, Concordia's robotics program stands as a beacon, extending from Pre-K to high school, representing the institution's unwavering dedication to STEM education. This VEX GO Robotics Sumo competition was just one of the many engaging and exciting opportunities that Concordia offers to inspire its students and foster a lifelong love for learning and exploration. Truly, at Concordia, the future is being designed today, one robot at a time!


Thanks to all the 2nd graders who participated with their energy, talented 2nd grade teachers Mr. Bryan Savicki, Dr. Casey Koschmeder, and Ms. Margerie Abundo, our fantastic and energetic Emcee Mr. Ben Kask, our Tech department Mr. Nicco Xu and Mr. Dennis Grice.

(Generative AI was used to edit this article, however, all ideas and facts, were written by Mrs. Flowers and Dr. Fujiwara)