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Josh Perron, Colton Whitesell, Dawson Torres, Finn Wolfrom, Dylan Benson, Preston Kendall, Kameron Perron, Finn Wolfrom, Dylan Benson, Preston Kendall, Hayden Drake and Jeremy Silvis are part of the Wood River Middle School Robotics Team.

HAILEY – The sixth- and seventh-grade robotics team from Wood River Middle School traveled to Louisville, Ky., in April to compete in the 2018 VEX IQ World Robotics Competition. It was the first team ever from Wood River to advance to their Division Finals where they ended up in a competition of the best of the best 400 middle Schools from around the globe, the team competed very well and represented Idaho by winning the Judges Award trophy.

Members included Kameron Perron, Preston Kendall, Finn Wolfrom, Dylan Benson, Colten Whitesell, Dawson Torres and Hayden Drake. The team is coached and mentored by Josh Perron and Jeremy Silvis

The team finished qualifying rounds with 1,716 cumulative points that ranked them No. 13 in their division. The top 20 teams from each division move on to the finals. During finals, they allianced with a team from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada, and scored 204 points. This placed them in seventh place in their division in their final match at the World Robotics Competition. Overall, they ranked 56th out of 400 teams in total points scored during matches. This put Wood River Middle School in the top 15 percent of teams worldwide.

Now entering its 11th year, VEX IQ Robotics brings together the top student‐led robotics teams from around the world to Louisville. Wood River Middle School’s teams were two of 400 Middle School teams from around the world that have qualified to attend this event Sponsored by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. The VEX Robotics and VEX IQ Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest‐growing middle school and high school robotics program globally, with more than 16,000 teams from 50 countries playing.

Each year, a new engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. With guidance from mentors and coaches, students design and build robots to address the challenge and then put their creations to the test in a series of tournaments. In addition to learning key engineering concepts, students gain valuable life skills including teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management and critical thinking.

“This group of students mentored by Josh Perron of Durgs Automotive, excelled as an Idaho team at worlds,” Coach Silvis said. “I couldn’t be happier with their commitment and dedication and it paid off for them.”

The Blaine County School District’s K‐12 robotics program (known at BCB Bots) was the first of its kind in the state of Idaho. Now in its ninth year at Wood River High School (WRHS) and its sixth year at Wood River Middle School, BCB Bots has participants from elementary to high school.

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