Ten White Pine County School District Robotics Teams recently competed at the largest robotics competition in the world, bringing home two highly-coveted trophies.

At the 2022 VEX Worlds Championship, the WPCSD Robotics teams competed with over 2,500 robotics teams from 36 nations, capping their successful 2021-2022 robotics season. The competition was held from May 3-12 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, and more than 30,000 people attended daily. WPCSD Robotics fielded teams in the high school and middle school VRC competitions and in the middle school and elementary school VEX IQ competitions.

Each team worked together throughout the school year to design, build, program, and drive a robot to complete game challenges. Teams were invited to compete at the World Championship based on their achievements throughout the year and at the Nevada State Championship.

White Pine High School sent two teams to compete. The Lone Survivor, which includes WPHS student Tanner Hegg (9th grade), competed in the middle school VRC program and placed 27th of 72 teams in the Design Division.

Been There, Done That, consisting of Sydney (11th grade) and Carter (9th grade) Nielson, represented WPHS in the high school VRC program. They placed 42nd of 81 teams in the Design Division and won the Sportsmanship Award, which is awarded to the team that has won the judges’ respect because of their professional, courteous, and kind behavior throughout the entire competition. M.C. Reichley, who volunteered in the Design Division, remarked, “Your team was the heart and soul of the VRC HS Design Division. Thank you so much for coming and competing with us this year!”

“It was totally incredible to receive this award,” said Sydney Nielson. Only eight high school teams in the world earn the World Championship Sportsmanship Award each year.

The Lone Survivor and Been There, Done That are coached by Curtis Nielson, a WPHS math and robotics teacher, and was the Nevada State Volunteer of the Year Award recipient for the ‘21-‘22 season.

White Pine Middle School was well represented by four teams in the middle school Vex IQ Program. The GigaBites, Evangeline Sorensen (7th grade) and Rebecca Murphree (8th grade), competed in the Research Division and finished in 51st position of 78 teams.

The Pitstoppers, consisting of Thomas Murphree (8th grade), Landon Neilson (7th grade), and Kaleb Nielson (7th grade), competed in the Opportunity Division and finished 52nd out of the 78 teams in their division. “This was such an amazing experience! I want to come back next year,” said Kaleb Nielson.