Well they did it! Free Range Robotics won the 2010 Vex Robotics World Championship! The Tournament was held in Dallas, Texas and the two New Zealand teams – Free Range Robotics (homeschoolers) and Kristin, along with Shangahi Luwan Activity Center from China, played against another alliance of three from the USA (one of them being a homeschool team who won last year’s championship). They won the first game of the finals by a good margin, and went on to play the second match (the winner being the best of three). It was very tense, as the competition was fierce and the score was close. The judges took an eternity to count up those scores, but the teams were elated to win the second match and at last bring home the ultimate World Tournament Champion 1st Place Trophy.
Free Range Robotics were also presented awards for the World Champion 1st Place in Web Design, World Champion AMAZE Award (for innovative design, engineering and programming), World Champion Energy Award (for team enthusiasm and dedication) and also World Champion 1st Place Division Tournament Champion.
The team were also presented with a Silver Fern Award. This award originates from the military. It is a prestigious award, given to soldiers who have given significant service to their country. Then Kiwibots had been granted the power to select and award this to certain students for their service to NZ as a representative (in battle) overseas. The team has certainly experienced the sweat, blood and tears of hard battle over these last couple of years! It was great to acknowledge their hard work and dedication.
Interestingly enough there was another Robotics Competition called Best Robotics which was held at the same time, and that was won by homeschoolers also.