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Elementary School Robotics Team Headed to World Championship, Supported by CWU

By Rune Torgersen

This weekend, a robotics team from Mt. Stuart Elementary School is headed to the 2022 VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas. Central Washington University’s TeachSTEM program has supported the robotics club at Mt. Stuart for the last four years, through student internships and volunteering efforts at local competitions, some of which have been held at CWU.

CWU Professor of Mathematics Dominic Klyve is the team’s assistant coach and father to Emery Klyve, one of the students headed to Dallas. The professor says the Vex IQ program teaches essential life skills to children of all ages.

“I fell in love with this program as a parent,” Klyve said. “They’re radically supportive of kids from all walks of life. At the competition, there are kids with super high-tech, fancy robots, right alongside those who’ve just figured out how to drive a box around. While not everybody gets a medal, everybody is supported and encouraged to improve, and they all get to participate in every part of the program.”

The team, named Bolt’s Bunch in honor of their robot, Bolt, is comprised of Emery Klyve, Aspen Moore, and Maddy Bryant. All three girls were newcomers to robotics at the start of the school year and have taken to the discipline with a passion that’s carried them all the way to the international stage.

“We had to learn how to program the robot and measure the things the robot needs to know to work,” Bryant said. Moore added that “It’s cool to figure out what to do to make the robot work. There’s a lot of steps to it that are really fun.”

Bolt’s Bunch is going to the championship because they were awarded the Design Award, granted based on interview skills and a very detailed engineering notebook. Jason Eng—a CWU alumnus, Mt. Stuart P.E. teacher, and robotics team head coach—says the competition builds the core competency of teamwork.

“Teamwork is key to success in this competition,” said Eng, who is also a CWU lecturer in the Education, Development, Teaching and Learning Department(link is external). “They have to put aside what they think is best, for the betterment of the team. It’s a hard lesson to learn that sometimes, your ideas just aren’t the best ones, following testing and research.”

The team says they are passionate about continuing their STEM journey beyond the competition.

“When I grow up, I want to do biomimicry, which is where you look at nature and build robots based on it to help humans,” Emery Klyve said. “That’s how Velcro was invented!”

Bolt’s Bunch is currently accepting donations for their trip to Dallas via GoFundMe.

Media contact: Rune Torgersen, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1264

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