MBS robotics teams participate in virtual world celebration

    Five Mountain Brook Schools robotics teams qualified for the 2020 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. But the competition, originally scheduled for April, was canceled due to COVID-19. 

    So instead of showcasing their robots on the world stage, the 20 students who qualified from Brookwood Forest Elementary and Mountain Brook Junior High participated in the VEX Robotics Virtual World Celebration and first-ever Fantasy Robotics Tournament on April 25. 

    The tournament used prior match outcomes from the 2019-20 season to simulate results. More than 2,300 teams competed.

    “It was just a celebration of their work more than anything,” said James Salvant, who oversees the MBJH robotics program. “It was for fun.” 

    Three teams from Brookwood Forest and two from MBJH qualified for the world championship by posting top performances at the state tournament in February. 

    The world qualifiers are below:

    Brookwood Forest

    Team 3701C (5th graders) 

    Crawford Chester

    Jackson Eatman

    Brewer Hester

    Jack Pierce  

    Team 3701D (5th graders)

    Katie Acosta

    Hattie Crawford

    Will Hardee 

    Edward Livingston

    Team 3701E (5th graders) 

    Layla Rose Goldis 

    Oliver Mange

    Jacob Plyler

    Maxine Stockman


    Team 31337A (8th graders)

    Blake Cook

    Travis Summey

    Emily Glaub 

    Jack Brandt

    Team 31337Z (7th and 8th graders)

    Addison Hardee

    Truman Lee

    Max Lizee

    This was the first year that Brookwood Forest qualified three teams for the world championship. There were only 17 total elementary slots available. 

    “We are very proud of them. They work really hard,” said Jennifer Jinnette, who coaches the Brookwood Forest team with Sharon Mumm. “It’s student-centered and it’s student-run."

    Mumm and Salvant both hosted Google Meets with their world qualifiers to watch the virtual event livestream. Next year, they're hoping the competition returns to an in-person format. 

    “Our three teams that didn’t get to go, they’re all wanting to come back,” Mumm said. “They all want to be on the same team. They’re probably already starting to plan what their robot’s going to look like.”