Galveston Robotics Presents Battle By The Beach
November 12 & 13 at Moody Gardens Convention Center
Galveston Robotics, in collaboration with Galveston Independent School District and the REC Foundation, will present Battle by the Beach, a VEX Signature event, November 12 – 13, 2021, 8 am – 5 pm daily, at Moody Gardens Convention Center.
The event will bring competitors from across the United States to compete for 12 coveted spots to battle at World Robotics Competition. Open to all interested contenders from elementary to high school, competition registration is online. Spectator tickets to attend the tournaments, see exhibits and to participate in hands-on activities and games in the pavilion area are now available at www.GalvestonRobotics.com. A one-day pass entitles visitors to attend tournaments and enjoy all activities in the pavilion area. Visitors may come and go throughout the day by showing their pass at the door.
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable and sustainable robotics engineering programs. VEX Robotics is a robotics program for elementary through university students, and a subset of Innovation First International. The VEX Robotics competitions and programs are managed by the REC Foundation.
Under the leadership of Catherine Pickavance, Galveston Independent School District teacher and Robotics District Director, students will engage in robot battles throughout the weekend in an effort to earn a spot to compete globally. Pickavance, designated as one of the Top 50 GISD Distinguished Educators, has a track record for spawning the top robotics students in the world and whose students are currently ranked number one in the State of Texas. More students from GISD have competed in World Robotics Competition than any other competitors to date.
Robotics is leading technology in health care, food preparation, transportation, maritime, manufacturing and the military. NASA employs robotics in space and gives credit to a high school robotics student for contributing to the technology used to develop the turning mechanism on the Mars Rover. Students devoted to computer science and robotics share techniques, brainstorm and work as a team to achieve results and success. Robotics Competitions are an opportunity for young minds to develop technology skills, team work, and self-esteem while offering education and career paths.
Community support is a critical factor in nurturing these gifted students. The majority of GISD competitors enjoy dedicated technology facilities at their schools. In spite of GISD not having a dedicated facility, their students excel in robotics and computer science relying on classroom conversions to accommodate their need for practice arenas. Each practice field measures 12 feet by 12 feet by 2 feet tall and the perimeter has student workstations available for robot modifications. The students work in teams of four to six to hone their skills and improve their robots’ abilities. The bouts are reminiscent of a boxing match except they are battling robots. It is an exciting and ever moving competition.
More than 150 teams will compete at the upcoming Battle at the Beach. Open competition for students from elementary through high school, registrants from across the United States will be rigorously engaged for two full days in robot battles. The Galveston Robotics event is unique in that it invites spectators to watch the tournaments and offers hands-on activities and games for non- competitors. It is a family event. The REC foundation has designated Galveston Robotics Battle by the Beach as a Signature Event; a select designation obtained by offering a quality venue with accommodations and schedule of events . The designation is highly coveted as only a select few are awarded annually. Galveston is now anticipated to host this event annually, drawing in a new element of “educational tourism”.
|Galveston’s Ball High Competing in the 2021 VEX Robotics World Championship||Galveston Independent School District|
Dr. Jerry Gibson, GISD Superintendent, stated. “We are proud of our accomplishments and all of our students at GISD. Events such as the Robotics competition offers us the opportunity to showcase our talented teachers and students, and to share with our community the exceptional curriculum and teaching staff at our schools.. We look forward to having the community see first- hand why our Robotics teams have traditionally been elevated to World Robotics competition year after year. We have the ability to nurture and guide these talented individuals to be the best that they can be and we take that seriously.”
A unique feature of Battle by the Beach is that a majority of the event production is provided by vocational students enrolled in the GISD Media Arts and Digital Technology and STEM classes. Event coordinator Mary Jo Naschke expressed her appreciation of the students work. “As a Ball High graduate, I am impressed with how progressive my alma mater is. Working with these students is on par with working with professional crews. GISD is doing an outstanding job of offering not only the education in these fields, but the opportunity to learn hands-on in preparation for their future. I wish I had these students working with me on all of my large events; they are an incredible support force.”
Battle by the Beach sponsors to date are GISD, REC Foundation, Northrup Grumman Foundation, Omron, Del Papa Distributing, Evamor, Uptime, Bio Steel, Tramonte Realty, Harbor Offshore, Moody Bank, UTMB Health, San n Sea Properties, Stewart Title, Gulf Copper, Texas Workforce Commission and Moody Gardens. Event developers, coordinators and marketing team are M.J. Naschke Public Relations and WebTek Pro.
Galveston Robotics Battle by The Beach is November 12 and 13, 8 am – 5 pm daily, Moody Gardens Convention Center. Spectator tickets are Adults $30, Students $20 and includes all Pavilion activities, games, and Arena Robotics tournaments with seating. Parking is complimentary. For event details, sponsorship, exhibitor, volunteer opportunities and ticket purchase go to www.GalvestonRobotics.com.