Robo ‘Pups’ Build Their Way to the Top

The Robo Pups eagerly group together before the competition.
The Robo Pups eagerly group together before the VEX competition. (Photo by Julie Beck)

(COVINGTON, La) –The eighth grade Robotic Wolves finished a whirlwind group of competitions by competing last week in the VEX World Championship in Kentucky and returning ranked 42nd out of 140 schools.

In February, the eighth grade Robotic Wolves competed at the district VEX — which is not an acronym, but was chosen because it sounded cool —  competition. They then competed in the State Final at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The VEX competitions are for grades 8-12, and at the state finals, the SPS “Robo Pups” won the award for Middle School Excellence.

“After we won that competition, it qualified us for the VEX World Championship,” said Julie Beck, who is the moderator for eighth grade Robo Wolves.

Before that, the group also competing in multiple other competitions and ended the tour with a first, second and two third places awards.

Whenever there is a team, there has to be a captain, and Andrew Norlin is the Robo Pups’ head. The co-captain is Grant Addison.

The Robo Pups work on Tr3vor
The Robo Pups work on Tr3vor before the VEX competition. (Picture By: Julie Beck)

The robot’s name that they entered in the competition was Tr3v0r, named after the school’s principal.

“The robot was named after Mr. Watkins, who jokingly told us we should name it after him,” said Beck. “Currently, we are on Tr3v0r 5.0.”

This was the Robo Pups first year to compete.

“Our participation stemmed from the implementation of the new 8th grade PLTW Gateway to Technology class, sponsored by Hornbeck Offshore, in which students learn to build with VEX robotics parts,” Beck said.

According to Beck, the group was very enthusiastic about the World Competition and met every day at lunch in Room 111 in the Main School building.

The members of the pre-freshman Robotic Wolves include Andrew Aceves, Grant Addison, Joseph Brown, Merrick Coghlan, Colin Cottrell, Coleman Guidry, Ross Hightower, Andrew Norlin, and Jonathan Wellmeyer.


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