TUSD Robotics

2019-2020 Competition Season: Issue 1

Early Season Successes and Accomplishments

For over three months, TUSD Robotics teams have been designing, building and programming robots to play the new games of the season. The elementary teams are playing the game Squared Away, where the objective is to move cubes and place balls on top and inside of cubes. Their robots have been assigned extra constraints this season to add an extra level of difficulty and no robot may go outside of the 9" x 19" x 15" size at any point in the game. The secondary teams are playing the game Tower Takeover, where the objective is to stack cubes in corners and towers. The secondary teams do not have an expansion limit this year but are required to start within the 18" x 18" x 18" starting size. At the start of the Tower Takeover game, robots burst open to expose their tall stacking trays used to stack several cubes at a time. It is another incredible season of complex engineering problems combined with many levels of strategic gameplay and programming. TUSD Robotics is once again up to the challenge and proving to be a powerhouse in the very competitive world of Vex Robotics.
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Four Beckman Teams Competing Together and Against One Another to Play Tower Takeover

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Tustin Memorial and Arroyo Robotics Students Aligned Together to Play Squared Away

Robohawks Tournament 11-2-19

Five Tournaments Hosted in TUSD

In total, there will be ten tournaments hosted in TUSD this season. Beckman High School (2), Foothill High School (1) and Orchard Hills Middle School (1) robotics programs all hosted early season tournaments to raise funds for the 2019-2020 competition season. TUSD Robotics hosted it's own VEX IQ tournament on November 16th which is much earlier than we have ever done before for this grade level. The goal is to get students competing earlier so they have more time to make innovations and improvements to their robots.


Tustin High School and Columbus Tustin Middle School robotics programs are hosting snack bars and providing lunch for competitors to help raise funds for their programs. Please show your support and pre-order a pizza lunch the morning of the tournament.


We are in need of volunteers for the remaining five tournaments. Please go to the TUSD Robotics Website to learn more and sign up to volunteer by completing the Volunteer Interest Survey. Spread the word and thank you for your support! Or feel free to contact Cari Williams at cwilliams@tustin.k12.ca.us

Early Season Awards

Many TUSD Robotics teams have already qualified for the California State Championships winning either the Design Award, Tournaments Champion Award, or the Excellence Award. However, our teams also take home a variety of other awards for their outstanding autonomous programming (Think Award), sportsmanlike conduct (Sportsmanship Award), or simply just impressing judges with their energy, design, and communication skills (Build Award, Amaze Award, and Judges Award). Congratulations to the following teams for their incredible accomplishments so early in the competition season.


VEX IQ: Squared Away

Orchard Hills Elementary- Team W

  • Design Award

Orchard Hills 6th Grade- Team B

  • Excellence Award

Tustin Memorial Academy- Team B

  • Judges Award


VEX EDR: Tower Takeover Middle School

Columbus Tustin Middle School- Team C

  • Sportsmanship

Orchard Hills Middle School- Team A

  • 2x Excellence
  • Amaze Award
  • Robot Skills Champion

Orchard Hills Middle School- Team B

  • Tournament Champions
  • Amaze Award
  • Think Award

Orchard Hills Middle School- Team C

  • Design Award

Orchard Hills Middle School- Team D

  • Excellence Award
  • Design Award

Orchard Hills Middle School- Team E

  • Design Award

Pioneer Middle School- Team A

  • Excellence

Pioneer Middle School- Team C

  • Judges Award


VEX EDR: Tower Takeover High School

Beckman High School- Team J

  • 2x Tournament Champions
  • 2x Robot Skills Champions
  • Excellence

Beckman High School- Team R

  • Tournament Champions
  • Robot Skills Champions
  • Excellence

Beckman High School- Team W

  • Tournament Champions
  • Design Award
  • 2x Amaze Award

Beckman High School- Team X

  • Build Award

Beckman High School- Team Y

  • 2x Tournament Champions
  • 3x Think Award
  • Robot Skills Champions

Foothill High School- Team X

  • Tournament Champions
  • 2x Robot Skills Champions
  • Excellence

Tustin High School- Team A

  • Design Award
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Orchard Hills Robohawks Girl Powered-Event

Girls make up only 23% of VEX participants, and women represent 24% of the STEM workforce. It’s easy to shrug it off as “girls don’t like that stuff, ” but that’s simply not true. Studies have shown that girls and boys show equal interest in science and math in elementary school, and show that girls lose this interest in middle school for a variety of reasons. The VEX Robotics mission with Girl Powered is to work to change this reality and to re-define the face of STEM.


This year, the OH Robohawks teams consist of just over 50% female. Coach Megan Lund has been working hard to increase interest in STEM among the girls of Orchard Hills School. Coach Lund and her female VEX Robotics team members hosted 75 elementary students for a very special Girl-Powered Event where they built and drove robots among other STEM-related activities.


Great work Robohawks!

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Thank You TPSF and Volunteers!

We are so appreciative of the continued support from the Tustin Unified School District, the Tustin Public Schools Foundation, and the hundreds of volunteers that make hosting tournaments possible.


A special shout out to Mr. John Garrett for his photography skills. Please check out more pictures from the VEX IQ tournament at TPSF Smug Mug.

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To learn more about TUSD Robotics or read past newsletters, please go tusdrobotics.com