Panther Tech team members Brayden Buckner and Noah Scearce display the robot they created and the award they won in state competition They will be competing in the Vex World’s competition in Louisville on April 26-28. SUBMITTED

Portland East Middle School’s robotics team, Panther Tech continues to excel in competitions. Seventh graders Noah Scearce and Brayden Buckner had an outstanding performance at the state robotics competition at Brentwood Academy.

During qualifying rounds, Scearce and Buckner led most of the day and were in first place going into the finals. During the finals, they fell short in scoring. However, their work did not go unnoticed. They were recognized for building an outstanding robot and received the Amaze Award. This earned them a spot at the Vex World’s competition in Louisville, Kentucky during April 26-28.

The Vex World’s competition has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest robotic competition. The competition is to promote technology with students and supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

School counselor Dale Sadler is the sponsor of Panther Tech team. Sadler organized a Battle of the Bots on Nov. 16, 2019 at PEMS. Six schools participated. Scearce and Buckner qualified at this competition to go to the state competition.

The teams use Vex IQ robots made of plastic interlocking pieces similar to Legos, which are designed for elementary and middle school students. The students design the robot and program the hard drive, which becomes the “brain” of the robot. The robot is controlled by a remote similar to a view game controller. 


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