HopeBots teams secure place in world robotics competition

Three HopBots teams pose with their banner after the recent Arkansas VEX IQ State Championships in Russellville. In no particular order are The Vexes of E’Mahree Muldrew, Jazlyn Mejia, Samuel Fellows and Rey Mendoz; The Flamethrowers of Kayveon Anderson, Ella Bramlett, Graydon Randle and Johnny Paredes; The Cobra Kais of Julia Bobo, Sophia Finigan and Aracely Garcia; and The Unknowns of Ramsey Beck, Kevin Bran, Terrianna Frazier and Julian Ugarte. The Vexes and Flamethrowers advanced to the world championships April 24 to May 5 in Dallas. (Submitted photo)

HOPE, Ark. -- Two teams from Hope Academy of Public Service will throw their bots into the ring in a quest to be crowned world champion.

The Vexes and The Flamethrowers have earned a place in the VEX Robotics World Championship scheduled for April 25-May 4 in Dallas.

The teams, collectively known as the HopeBots, booked their spots in the contest after the recent Arkansas VEX IQ State Championship in Russellville. The Vexes won second place in the Teamwork Challenge, and The Flamethrowers came in sixth overall out of 32 teams from 15 schools.

The Vexes includes Samuel Fellows, Jazlyn Meija, Rey Mendoza and E'Mahree Muldrow.

Kayveon Anderson, Ella Bramlett, Graydon Randle and Johnny Parades make up The Flamethrowers.

HopeBots coach Hosea Born praised the middle school's robotics competition teams, including The Cobra Kais and The Unknowns.

"I am beyond proud of all the competitors for the dedication it takes to not only go to the state championship, but that they accomplished it in their first year of robotics," Born said in a news release. "All teams finished in the top third of teams across the state and having two teams make it to Worlds is incredible.We wouldn't have gotten here without the support of families and community sponsors of EPIC Student Ministries and Main Street Cleaners."

In the state and world contests, students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build a robot using VEX IQ parts to solve an engineering challenge that is presented each year in the form of a game. Teams work together to score points in Teamwork Matches and get to show off their skills individually in driver-controlled and programming Robot Skills Challenges.

"The VEX IQ competition fosters student development of teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers," Hope Public Schools said in the release.

Former Hope students Colin Easterling, Juan Leon and Hunter Mathis will mentor the Bobcat teams at the world championships.