WMAA VEX Robotics Team Logo

West Michigan Aviation Academy Competitive Robotics Team

The WMAA Robotics Team competes in the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) program against other local schools. West Michigan is one of the more competitive areas in the US for High School robotics and we are excited to participate.

The WMAA team is supported by Grand Rapids Junior Robotics (GRJR) as a booster club to assist with logistics and fundraising. The GRJR website is the main resource for team information. Follow the WMAA VEX Events page for up to date information on team events.

Please read all of the team information included below and if you have any questions, contact the WMAA Robotics Team Head Coach: Brent Olthof: 616-570-3213 or brent.olthof@grjrrobotics.org

Application Deadline: Midnight on August 22nd, 2023

All students (new to the team or returning) must complete an application prior to the deadline to be considered for participation on the 2023-2024 VEX Team.

Team Information:

  • Robotics is a Sport: Please consider practices and events for robotics the same as if your student were joining the basketball team.  Some of the team expectations are outlined below:
    •  All team members must commit to attend all practices and events for the full season (August through April).
      • The team will meet for mandatory practices three evenings each week (typically Mon, Wed & Thurs) for two hour sessions.  Team Members are expected to attend all manditory practices and events.
      • With three unexcused absences at practices or events, team members may be removed from the team.
      • Teams members are strongly encouraged to attend additional optional practices, but not required. Optional practice times will be available at the coaches’ discretion.
      • Every participant is expected to focus on robotics during practices and be responsible with the Team’s resources.  (Excessive phone use, games, or any use of robotics parts to build items that are not focused around the competition may result in removal from the team.)
    • Participants must behave professionally and respectfully at all times during practices and events. Disrespectful behavior toward other team members, coaches, mentors, and volunteers will not be tolerated and may result in removal from the team at the sole discretion of the coaches.
  • Open House / Info Night:
    • August 22nd, 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
    • WMAA High Bay
  • Tryouts:
    • Team tryouts will be held August 23rd and 24th, 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. To participate in tryouts all (new and returning) students must submit an application prior to the appliacation deadline.
  • Volunteer support is critical for the program to succeed.
    • We require families to contribute a minimum of 20 volunteer hours, per family, over the 2023-2024 robotics season.  Opportunities will be announced or contact Sarah Olthof for more information. Examples:
      • WMAA Tournamants & League Nights – variety of roles
      • Fundraising Events (Golf Outing, Corporate Sponsor Requests, etc)
  • Participation Fee:
    • $200 per student with a family commitment to 20 hours of volunteering
    • $500 per student without a family volunteering commitment
    • Fees are due at the First Practice / Parent Meeting (non-refundable)
    • Click the Donate button below for Credit card payments through PayPal


Practice Schedule (subject to change)

  • First Practice / Parent Meeting: August 28th, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Mandatory Practices: Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
  • Mandatory Practices may be altered as needed by the coaches
  • Optional Practices: scheduled by coaches as needed

Typical Draft Season Schedule (subject to change)

Early Season League play, September – October

  • WMAA is host for some events (many volunteers needed)

Weekend (Saturday or Sunday) Tournaments:

  • 2-4 events mainly in the Grand Rapids area October – February
    (Additional events and out of town locations may be added.)
  • WMAA may host two tournaments: October Date TBD and January Date TBD (many volunteers are needed)

Regional VEX Tournament, TBD

State VEX Tournament, TBD (typically late February at Kettering University)

VEX World Tournament, TBD (typically late April in Dallas, Texas)

Contact Information

  • Head Coach: Brent Olthof
    • 616-570-3213
    • brent.olthof@grjrrobotics.org
  • Coach: Sarah Olthof
    • 616-915-1047
    • sarah.olthof@grjrrobotics.org


Applications for the 2023-2024 WMAA VEX Team are available here:


Deadline: August 22nd, 2023, 11:59 PM