High school students from 13 states and two countries filled the West Virginia University Student Recreation Center last weekend. The 300 students present weren’t your average athletes, though.

These teams came to Morgantown for a West Virginia Robotics Extreme competition, in which they formed three-team alliances and competed for 26 hours in a robotic basketball game called Aerial Assist. Of the 24 teams present, four walked away with scholarships to WVU.

The winning alliance included teams from Canada, Delaware and Maryland. Each team was awarded a Level 1 Academic Excellence scholarship and the task to nominate one of their players to receive it.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, these high-achieving students must have at least a 3.8 grade point average and receive either a 30 on the ACT or 1340 on the SAT. The scholarship is valued at $13,000 a year for four undergraduate years for out-of-state students.

“The University garnered recognition from students who had maybe never heard of us before, and many of them are top students in their high schools,” said Earl Scime, WVU professor of physics and co-founder of Mountaineer Area RoboticS. “Students from all over the country and Canada got to see WVU.”

The fourth scholarship went to a team from Mingo County, whose coach received the Earl Scime Award. Coach Ricky Meade – at the event with an arm fully immobilized after recent surgery and with just two students accompanying him – was recognized for his hard work and dedication in the world of high school robotics.

Because of his energy and work ethic, one of his students will receive the Presidential Scholarship, available to in-state residents, valued at $4,000 for four undergraduate years.

Scime, humbled to have an award named after him, has already gotten questions for the next all-day event. The laid-back atmosphere and special matches (like those with lights turned down and others with no talking allowed) was a big hit with the students and mentors who participated.

He and his team, if the University agrees, are hoping to make the competition recur every two or three years.



CONTACT: Earl Scime, Department of Physics and Astronomy
304.293.5125, Earl.Scime@mail.wvu.edu

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