Mt. Stuart Elementary robotics team are on their way to success at the World Championship


Wolfpack team hard at work, photo by Dominic Kyle

Anna Fridell, Staff Reporter

The Mount Stuart Elementary robotics team is on their way to Dallas, TX for the VEX Robotics World Championships  from April 25 to May 4.

In preparation for the championships, the two competing teams from Mount Stuart Elementary, including ‘The Muddy Ducks’ and ‘The Wolfpack,’ held their final practice on April 26 before the competition.

“I try not to make the world championships any bigger than it is for the kids, I don’t want them to feel anxious or get nervous about competing on the world stage,”Physical Education Teacher and Coach of the robotics club Jason Eng said. “All we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks since state championships is just continuing to work on our engineering.”

After making appearances in the World Championship in Dallas last year and winning the design award at the state championships, the teams are well prepared and know what it takes to win according to Eng.

“It was really motivating for them to know that, hey, this is what we did last year, and were successful this year,” Eng said. “They’re still motivated, they wanted to win, they wanted to continue to work on a great notebook. So it was more not that I didn’t want to help them, they didn’t need the help, they were just on autopilot.”

Wolfpack team member Emery Klyve said she is thrilled about going to the world championships for a second time with the Wolfpack team.

“I’m excited to meet a bunch of new teams and just hang out with my team and see how the program goes,” Kylve said.

The engineering notebook is a key factor in winning events at the world championship, according to Klyve. The notebook consists of progress checks made throughout each month to see changes, new ideas and results of successes and failures.

“When you do go to tournaments and you submit your notebook, there’s different awards that the notebook is weighted heavily on and there’s rubrics too,” Eng said.

These awards include the Excellence Award regarding the content within the players’ notebooks and an interview portion, with results of the competition being weighted in there, according to Eng.

“[The robot] can do almost everything,” Klyve said.

A range of skill sets creates the best team dynamic, according to Klyve.

“Aspen is working on the notebook, Madi’s fixing the robot and I’m working on updating the code and it’s just really cool to have us all doing a thing,” Klyve said. “I think it’s working quite well for our team.”

One of the teams heading to the world championships, The Wolfpack, consisting of three girls, Aspen Moore, Madison Bryant and Emery Klyve, earned their spot based on their engineering notebook, according to Eng.

As an advisor and coach of the group, there is a lot of validation that comes with leading a winning squad, according to Eng.

“I just want them to be successful from September to the end of the season,” Eng said. “I think that’s on me as a mentor, coach [and] teacher at their school to help them be successful and set them up for success.”

The groups heading to the world championship are excited to engage with teams from across the world while performing in front of a large crowd of around 3,000 people, according to Klyve.

“I’m excited to meet the teams from all over the world,” Klyve said.

It is a proud feeling to see the kids competing at such a high level, according to Emery Klyve’s father, Dominic Klyve.

“It’s so remarkable dealing with it as a parent to see her do this and having her go through it a second time but reaching a new sort of level,” Dominic Klyve said.

Dominic Klyve said that being a part of the robotics club and seeing successes and failures gives the kids a whole new level of confidence.

“To watch these fourth, fifth and sixth grade girls walk up to middle school boys who are twice their height and say, ‘here’s what we can do,’” Dominic Klyve said. “The confidence that comes with that, and the confidence that comes from being able to be successful again and again, I think is so great.”

Eng said their favorite part about coaching the program goes beyond wins and losses.

“It gives me an extra two hours a week to just get to know the kids, kids from different grade levels, and just get outside the traditional classroom and see them get in and put in that hard work,” Eng said.

A major difficulty with the trip involves funding without support directly from the school. The program has a GoFundMe page to support the teams, according to Klyve.

“For years, I’ve been a little grumpy that the town can’t fully fund an elementary robotics team that goes to the world championships,” Dominic Klyve said.