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Taiwan teens win VEX Robotics World Championship

'Never Give Up' team received congratulatory phone calls from President Tsai, Vice President Lai

Tsao Shih-chieh (left) and Chien Ming-hao. (Mingdao High School photo)

Tsao Shih-chieh (left) and Chien Ming-hao. (Mingdao High School photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two teens from Taiwan took first place in a global robotics competition last week, earning them congratulatory phone calls from Taiwan's president and vice president.

This year, more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries and regions vied for a spot in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas. A total of 800 teams were selected to take part in the middle school category, while 820 teams were chosen to compete in the high school category.

Among the middle school competitors was the "Never Give Up" team, which consisted of Tsao Shih-chieh (曹仕杰) and Chien Ming-hao (簡銘浩) from Taichung’s Mingdao High School. The robot made by the duo completed the designated tasks and far exceeded the competition, winning Overall Tournament Champion in the Middle School Teamwork Challenge and garnering congratulatory phone calls from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德).

According to Mingdao High School, the VEX robotics competition, the largest in the world, had been canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. An online version was held in 2021, with the in-person contest returning this year.

Tsao and Chien, who are in their second year of middle school, made the cut when they won the VEX IQ Taiwan Open held in Yilan County in January. Tsao was cited by the Liberty Times as saying that this was the first time he had competed in the world championship. He said he hopes that he can share his experience with his younger classmates.

In addition to overall champion, "Never Give Up" also took first place in the Teamwork Challenge in the Innovate Division and third in the Middle School Robot Skills Challenge.