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SMS robotics team qualifies for nationals

SMS students holding award certificates
One of Sossaman Middle School’s robotics teams has qualified for the VEX IQ U.S. Open Robotics Championships, a first for any Higley Unified School District group. The students work before- and after-school each week to perfect their robot’s design, programming and engineering. The Sossaman program is under the direction of John Burke and includes dozens of students. The qualifying team – the Spartan Marauders – includes Bella Burke, Jake Strube, Declan Thiele, and Ronan Gessner. The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, gives students robotics and research project challenges to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning.

Sossaman Marauders qualified during a November tournament hosted by the school, which included 28 teams. The team also took the top two middle school awards: Team Skills Challenge and Team Excellence. By doing so, the team also qualified for  the VEX IQ Arizona State Championship, to be held in February.