UNA Pressroom

Six Kilby Laboratory School Robotics Teams Qualify for State Championship Tournament

Mar. 12, 2024

Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – Kilby Laboratory School’s Robotics Program recently qualified for the Alabama State Regional VEX IQ Championship competition that recently took place at Auburn University. Only 40 teams from the state earned the chance to compete in this competition, with an impressive six teams hailing from Kilby Laboratory, which is on the University of North Alabama campus.

“As the Director of Kilby, it has been so exciting to watch our kids develop their robot concepts from scratch. I have also witnessed many failures and triumphs as they worked to improve their driving and coding skills,” said Dr. Eric Kirkman. “Our robotics coach, Misty Buerhaus, has done an amazing job of growing our robotics and STEM program with the assistance of our GAs and Kilby community.”

The Robotics Program at Kilby Laboratory School consistently demonstrates its commitment to hone and develop students’ skills in the innovative field of robotics. Rigorous training, hands-on learning experiences, and the guidance of dedicated mentors empower young minds to fulfill their passion and potential.

The accomplishments of the Kilby teams reflect the school’s top-tier education and excellence in STEM fields. Students are equipped with technical, teamwork, and thinking skills, preparing them for success in technology and innovation.

“Kilby's success in robotics is a reflection of the leadership and support that comes from the University,” said Misty Buerhaus, Kilby’s robotics coach as well as the Library Media Specialist. “Whether it’s through providing funding for staff positions or support for materials and supplies, Kilby has been able to represent the University of North Alabama successfully in robotics on a regional, state, and even global level. As a laboratory school, Kilby has also helped in the training of UNA preservice teachers on how to create, manage, and grow STEM programs in an elementary school setting.”

For the second year, Kilby teams will compete in the VEX Worlds competition. This is the largest robotics competition in the world, with sponsors including Amazon, NASA, and Tesla. This year’s presenting sponsor is the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The competition will be from April 25 through May 3 and is set to take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/