At the VEX World Championship, Potomac Robotics Team Exceeds Everyone’s Expectations–Including their Own


Rohan, Claire, Elaina, and Ben (l to r) celebrate their successful tournament.

Tami Aje, Staff Writer

At the 2023 Vex Robotic World Championship in Dallas, from April 25 to May 4, Potomac team 12H, named the Happy Haystacks, reached the championship finals, placing second overall. Team members Rohan Iyer ‘23, Ben Bartlett ‘23, Claire Coker ‘23, and Elaina Song ‘25 beat out teams from the United States, China, Canada and elsewhere, a testament to their hard work and team spirit.

Ben’s robotics career began in his freshman year but didn’t take off until he was a sophomore in the Covid year, when he noticed that he was spending a lot of time in his basement, learning about robotics and watching VEX YouTube videos. Elaina also began in her freshman year. She felt she could learn a lot by being on a team with three more experienced seniors. “Last year was like ultra beginner, but this year, they’re more experienced than I am,” she said. All four team members emphasized how surprised they were to make it as far as they did. Claire thought the idea laughable at the beginning of the season. Elaina plans to continue with robotics in her junior year and while Claire and Ben are not continuing with robotics in college, they both said they are interested in pursuing engineering and will seek out other engineering-related extracurriculars.