Congratulations to the Thunderbolts, one of the VEX IQ robotics teams from Butte Creek School, who recently traveled to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the World Championships! The Thunderbolts are made up of four 10-year-olds: Kailea Buckley, Scarlette Leiterman, Christian Meza, and Edwyn Romero, all in the 4th grade.

There are 6600 VEX IQ teams in the world, and this year’s achievement puts The Thunderbolts in the top 300.

The road to worlds was a long one. The Thunderbolts competed in six events here in Oregon, then earned a spot at worlds through their performance at the National competition held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Thunderbolts were the only Oregon team to make it to worlds this year.

At the world championships, The Thunderbolts met teams from Ethiopia, India, Canada, Columbia, Chili, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Cherokee Nation, Bahrain, and many US states. The Thunderbolts had to communicate with members of the other team regardless of spoken language. The competitions are based on cooperatively completing challenges on the 4’x8′ board.

“What an honor it was to travel with these children and see them represent our school,” said Stacy Boost, one of the team’s advisors, “They met people we would have never otherwise been able to meet, heard languages and shared the experience with people truly from all over the world!”

The Thunderbolts are one of five robotics teams at Butte Creek. Two other IQ teams, The Robot Weirdos and The Psycho Robots, also earned spots at and competed in the Nationals Tournament. Our VEX team, The Nerds also had a strong showing this year. The teams are coached by Stacy Boost, Gary Morris, and Scott Blake, and are supported by an amazing group of parents and adult supporters who helped raise the funds to attend both of the trips through bake sales, a GoFundMe account, jewelry sales, a rummage sale (coming this Saturday from 9-3pm at Butte Creek), and other donations. The teams would also like to thank Oktoberfest, the Homer Davenport Festival, & the Silverton Masonic Lodge for their generous grants.