Julian’s Serious Black team’s journey to the World Championship began when they were one of two OPEF VEX Robotics teams accepted for the 2013 National VEX Robotics Competition, held in Ralston, NE in March. So Serious Black asked permission for parents to take them to a couple of extra regional Wisconsin competitions to get in fighting form for the Nationals.

The first competition they attended was the Upper Midwest Regional VEX Robotics Tournament in Appleton, WI on February 16. They came home undefeated Tournament Champions as well as winners of the Build Award. They were again Tournament Champions at the West Wisconsin Sack Attack Tournament on March 2 in Menomonie, WI. Both wins qualified them for 2013 VEX Robotics Middle School World Championship.

They had so much fun at the Nationals (where both OPEF VEX Teams reached the quarter finals), they asked permission to take their robot to the World Championship to be held in Anaheim, CA from April 17 – 20. This has taken a big commitment in time and effort on the part of the team and their parents. The students have spent several days a week after school since the Nationals in mid-March continuing to upgrade and practice driving their robot. They have also been working to raise the funds needed to fly the students plus parent chaperones, robot and equipment to Anaheim.

Anyone interested in helping the team can visit their fundraising website at https://rally.org/vex-serious-black. Checks can also be sent to the Oak Park Education Foundation (indicate in the memo line: for VEX World Championship). All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about Serious Black, please contact David Spangler at david@thespanglers.org or Mary Beth Hausken at mbhausken@opef.org.