Posted on Feb. 13 2017
Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Last weekend, all five Marion Community Schools robotics clubs were finalists in the VEX IQ tournament in Gas City, and our Justice Intermediate School Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to the state finals.
Thirty teams from around the state competed in the elementary level tournament, held at Northview Elementary School on Saturday, Feb. 11. The top 10 teams advanced to the event finals round, and five of those were Marion teams!
Two teams from Justice Intermediate School (fifth and sixth grade), along with teams from Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview elementary schools, have been working for months to design and build their robots, and to practice the required skills that would be tested in the tournament.
The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, provides students with open-ended robotics and research project challenges that enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. The Marion robotics clubs foster teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills. Opportunities like this help prepare students to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers!
This year’s challenge is called Crossover, and teams use their robots together with one other or alone to score points by completing specific maneuvers, as outlined by the challenge rules. The Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants earned a Teamwork Champion Award and advanced to the state level competition, set for Feb. 25 at IUPUI in Indianapolis.
Here's a video of that final match-up in which they earned their state berth:
We are proud of these students, and of the teachers who have sponsored the robotics clubs and spent countless hours working with these students outside of regular class time. We wish the Justice Tech Giants good luck as they continue on in competition!
The Teamwork Champions! Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to state-level competition. Pictured are Gabby Aguilar, Haden Montgomery, Alex Powell, Xavier Stewart, Beck Vermilion, and Christian Vermilion, along with Mary Miller, Justice Intermediate teacher and Tech Giants sponsor.
McCulloch Junior High has participated in the festival for the past several years. For the second year in a row, though, students from Justice Intermediate School and all the MCS elementary schools took part. In addition, one McCulloch student, Michael Seybold, earned the honor of singing a solo!
The festival – which is held at several different sites around the state (this year from Feb. 11 through Feb. 25) – exposes young singers to new music and gives them the chance to have a choral experience quite different from the regular school class or performance.
After weeks of practice on their own and at their schools, students from across the state come together and work with a guest clinician on the day of the performance. Nearly 5,000 students from elementary schools, middle schools, and junior high schools around the state participate in this annual festival series, which is in its 29th year. The Indiana Music Educators Association puts on the event.
Marion Community Schools’ young artists performed at the CSWS festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Honeywell Center in Wabash. The students spent the day in rehearsals, and then put on a public performance in the afternoon.
"This was a great opportunity for our students," said Christina Huff, choir teacher at McCulloch Junior High School. "They held themselves to high standards, behaved professionally, and sang beautifully."
The students who participated in Circle the State With Song 2017 are:
McCulloch Junior High Sopranos
Mia de las Alas
Justice Intermediate Part 1 / Soprano
Part 2 / Alto
Frances Slocum Elementary
We’re so proud of our talented students, and of our choral and music teachers as well for the opportunities they give to our students not only at special times such as this, but every day! At Marion Community Schools, we recognize the life-changing potential of arts education, and we are continuing to invest in these important programs.