By Claudia Hernandez Uribe

The John Adams Middle School (JAMS) Robotics Team proudly competed on March 4 in their first VEX IQ competition in San Diego, California. The JAMS Robotics Team was composed of eight seventh-grade students.  

The students prepared for this competition as they do for all their competitions: by making modifications on their robot based on previous competitions. They document their progress in an engineering notebook and work together to solve any problems involving coding, building, or changing the parts of their robot. They also documented what worked with other teams in order to gain as many points as possible during each competition.  

The Adams team placed tenth out of 22 schools from around the California region, including schools from Anaheim Hills and Irvine. 

Michelle Valadez, Adams’s Robotics Coach, an Adams Alumna, and a seven-year LAUSD teacher, said that her kids were really excited and and are already planning for next year’s competition.  

“It was such an eye-opening experience for myself and the kids,” Valdez said. “I love that they are excited to continue improving their skills for next year.”

Yaretzi Ines, seventh-grade Robotics team member, said, “What I liked about this competition is that the judges were really specific and explained the rules. I like that we know what we had to do and when to do it.” 

Ines and another team member’s advice for joining next year’s team: “You have to be committed, determined, and be ready to make a lot of mistakes and sacrifices. Also, your first design is not going to be your final design. You will make a lot of changes.  Finally, we just want to say DON’T PANIC!”