NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Robots? World domination? No, this isn’t a story about increasingly complex AI; It’s about some of the stellar students in Niagara Falls.
Specifically, we’re talking about LaSalle Preparatory School’s robotics teams, and how they’re ranked among the top 20 in the world in their respective divisions.
The Niagara Falls City School District says the team traveled to Dallas, Texas late last month for the VEX IQ World Robotics Championships. The four teams who participated were ranked in the top 20 of their divisions. In all, they competed with 800 teams from across 40 countries with roughly 6,500 individual competitors.
The local students won a number of local and state competitions in order to get to Texas. Robotics Coach Michael McGrath calls Niagara Falls’ program “world class.”
“It’s fun to see Niagara Falls show the world what we can do,” he said.
So, how’d they get such a distinction? The school district says at the competition, students drove their robots before setting them up to navigate a complex field.
Here’s the breakdown of the results, courtesy of the Niagara Falls City School District:
The Prestige – Ryan Brady, Ian Aube, Makayla Parise
- Ranked 18th out of 80 teams in the Research Division after all qualifying matches before the finals
- Tied for 3rd best in the world after the finals, 3rd highest score in their division, and the 50th highest score in the entire event with over 4,400 matches completed.
- Finished highest among all LaSalle Robotics teams
Robo Revenge – Aiden Chase, Michael Mettler, Brodie Kennedy
- Ranked 10th out of 80 in the Spirit Division after all qualifying matches before the finals
- Finished the finals 6th place in the world
The 2 Stouges (sic) – Kyle Dean, Dominic Condino
- Ranked 11th out of 80 in the Innovate Division
- Placed 9th in the finals
- 5th highest score in their division
French Toast Mafia – Anelie Copelin, Lilliana Misterkiewicz
- Ranked 1st out of 80 in the Design Division after all qualifying matches before the finals
- 16th highest score in the entire event out of over 4,400 matches
- Finished 6th in their division
- Ranked 100th in skills out of 800
- The highest average score in their division
- Won the Amaze Award – the most prestigious award at the world robotics championships. The “Amaze Award” is presented to the team building the consistently highest scoring and competitive robot.
Expanding to include Niagara Falls High School, the school district plans to create six new robotics teams next school year.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.