The 2020 Battle Bot Tournament BY PEYTON

Photo credit: Mr. Jones

The 5th grade Battle Bot Tournament, the fabled project that everyone in the younger grades wants to do and everyone in the older grades remembers, did not disappoint this year. There were some very close matches, even some ties. We got an interview with the teacher and gatekeeper of the tournament, Mr. Jones, and asked him some questions about this year’s Battle Bot Tournament and the competition in years past.

What is the Battle Bots tournament?

The kids learn levers, wheels, axles, pulleys, and gears. And at the end of the unit, instead of giving a test, we have a Battle Bot competition. 

Where did you find the Battle Bots tournament idea?

A long time ago, math and science used to be a mixed class like English-History, and I used to work with Mark O’Donnell. We came up with the idea.

What type of Battle Bots are you making?

They are all Legos. They are either powered by gears or pulleys and they have form and function to either push their opponent out of the ring, knock a piece off of their opponent, or tip their opponent over. The Battle Bots will be either strength or speed. The Power Bots will be the ones to push the other bot out of the ring, the Speed Bots will be the ones to knock a piece off or tip their opponent over. 

How many years have you been running the Battle Bots Tournament?

It has been going on for 20 years.

Why will this specific Battle Bots tournament be different than the years past?

It’s interesting–the longer I teach, many of the kids I teach now have older siblings that give them tips, so the Battle Bots start with more advanced models than the years before because of the tips that their siblings give them. 

What is the format for the semifinals and the finals of the tournament?

The Battle Bot with the best record from each class will go to the semifinals. The semifinals will be boy vs. girl, then the finals could be boy vs. girl or same gender. 

Following the 2020 Finals, we interviewed this year’s winners of the event: Austin, Zaharra, and Sally from the Core 4 Girls Science class.

What type of Battle Bot did you build?

We made a slow, but powerful Battle Bot. It was inspired by a Bulldozer and a Ram combined. 

Why did you build that specific Battle Bot?

We thought if we made a fast Battle Bot, it wouldn’t do much, and we also saw a lot of other teams that were building ramps, so if we built a fast one, we would go over the ramp.

How many matches did you play?

We played 3 matches in the Round Robin; we went 2-1.

What was your total record?

We went 4-1 in total 

Who did you play in the playoffs?

In the Final Four, we played John and Alex, and we won. Then we played Connor, Henry, and Ryker. Then we played one more for fun against Josie. 

This year’s 5th Grade Battle Bots Tournament didn’t disappoint. Will next year’s live up to the hype? Only time will tell.