All-Star Students Put Their STEM Prowess on Display During Action-Packed VEX Robotics World Championship

April 22nd, 2014

On April 23-26, 2014, students from around the world will converge on Anaheim, Calif. for the ultimate robotics showdown – The VEX Robotics World Championship!

The VEX Robotics World Championship – the climax of the season for the largest and fastest growing educational and competitive robotics program in the world – presented by the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation, is taking place this week! On April 23-26, 2014, over 15,000 participants from over 26 countries will meet and engage in a fierce, science and technology-fueled battle at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Each year, VEX reaches more than half a million students across the world in the classroom and through after-school competitions, turning robotics into a captivating hands-on sport that challenges both students’ brainpower and teamwork skills. Competitors at this level make up the world’s sharpest, most ambitious, technology-focused elementary school, middle school, high school, and university students. These young prodigies have committed their time and energy throughout the season designing, building, programming, and developing their own unique competition strategies at more than 750 local, regional and national tournaments. Of the more than 10,000 VEX Robotics teams that exist in the world, the top 760 teams have earned the right to travel to Anaheim, California where they will form strategic alliances with other teams and challenge competitors at the 2013-2014 season games: VEX Toss Up and VEX Add It Up.

Additionally, this will be the second year for the VEX Robotics World Championship VEX IQ Challenge – a new, exciting STEM program for elementary and middle school students. Using the VEX IQ platform, students with guidance from their mentors build robots designed to solve specific engineering challenges that are presented in the form of a game. In addition to building robots, the VEX IQ Challenge encourages students to actively learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a STEM-themed research project that consists of a written or media presentation.

Legendary skateboarder, Tony Hawk, will be in attendance, visiting teams and checking out qualifying matches Friday afternoon, and will provide a few opening remarks before the grand unveiling of the new game for the 2014/2015 season. The VEX Robotics World Championship is open to the public, FREE, and fun for the whole family! In fact, spectators are welcome and encouraged to watch matches, attend ceremonies, and visit with teams in the pit area as they strategize and prepare their robots for competition.

“It’s always exciting and inspiring to watch the students in action at the VEX Robotics World Championship. We’re so proud of how the REC Foundation has been able to bolster these essential STEM programs and continue to grow the VEX Robotics Competition and the VEX IQ Challenge,” said Jason Morrella, president of the REC Foundation. “The students that immerse themselves in these programs are the innovators of the future; tomorrow’s great scientists, engineers, and educators.”

Partners and sponsors of the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship include Northrop Grumman Foundation, EMC, NASA, Chevron, Microchip, Texas Instruments and HEXBUG.

Fans can follow the competition and sign up for real-time competition news and results via live webcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and YouTube updates. Real time tournament results are also available through VEX via an iPhone and Android compatible app, which provides match schedules, rankings and scores. For more information visit RobotEvents.com/championship.

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STUDENTS FROM HOUSTON AND ARLINGTON TAKE TOP HONORS AT THE U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION

January 6th, 2014

Five Texas High School Teams Qualify for the South Texas Regional VEX Robotics Competition

January 6, 2014 –Robot-bearing students from VRC team 2587Z, the DiscoBots, from Houston, Texas, VRC team 9090C, T-VEX from Arlington, Texas and VRC team 231Z from Pasadena ISD Robotics in Houston, Texas took home the coveted Winning Alliance trophies as Tournament Champions of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl VEX Robotics Competition in San Antonio this past week. VRC team 4080A, Silent Bot Deadly, from Ladonia, Texas was recognized with the Excellence award, the most prestigious award of the competition. VRC team 400X, team Xtreme, from Galveston, Texas went away with the Design award for their outstanding engineering and documentation. These middle and high school students competed with and against 54 teams from across Texas and Mexico.  The Tournament Champions, Excellence award winners, and Design award recipients all qualified for the chance to compete in the South Texas Regional VEX Robotics Competition and the U.S. Open VEX Robotics Championship in Omaha, Nebraska.

The action-packed day required middle and high school students to execute VEX Toss Up, a game that is played on a 12’x12’ square field. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen-second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by scoring bucky balls and large balls in middle and goal zones, earning bonus points and doubling or negating goals.

“The Army is proud to be able to showcase the incredible talents of these winning teams and all of the students who took part in this competition,” said Col. John Keeter, deputy, Army Marketing and Research Group. “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are critical not just to our Army’s success, but to the success of our nation, and we recognize the importance of encouraging STEM interest and excellence in today’s youth.”

High School senior Cedric Shy, Driver of VRC team 2587Z, the DiscoBots, from Houston, Texas, who was a part of the Winning Alliance commented, “The best moment of the day was making it to the finals. I’m so proud of the communication that we maintained with our alliance partners and our ability to play offense and defense against the tough competition. Our ultimate goal is to compete at the VEX World Championship alongside some of the most accomplished teams from around the world.”

Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, said, “The students participating in the VEX Robotics Competition consistently exhibit high levels of enthusiasm, teamwork, and a true passion for learning — gaining new appreciation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics through robotics.”  The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition program that thousands of schools participate in around the world.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl VEX Robotics Competition is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year.  The VEX Robotics Competition is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 9,000 teams from 26 countries that participate in more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide.

More information about The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics Competitions is available at robocticseducation.org and RobotEvents.com.

About the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to operating and supporting competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA and BEST Robotics Competitions, the Foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.

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U.S. ARMY VEX HOSTS ROBOTICS COMPETITION AT ALL-AMERICAN BOWL

December 23rd, 2013

WHAT: Middle and high school students from Alice, Austin, Cedar Park, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Greenville, Houston, Ingram, Ladonia, Richardson, San Antonio, Quinlan, Waco, and Mexico will descend upon San Antonio’s Sunset Station on Friday, January 3rd, for the VEX Robotics Competition presented by the U.S. Army at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Approximately 60 teams will come together for a non-stop, action-packed day of competition where they will compete with robots created from the VEX Robotics Design System.  Participants will square off playing the game Toss Up, developed by VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, leaders in educational and competitive robotics.

The VEX Robotics Competition is one of more than 400 tournaments supported by the REC Foundation and various national, regional and local sponsors.  The competition season culminates each spring, with the top performing teams from local and state VEX Robotics Competitions competing against each other at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, in Anaheim, CA. At the World Championship, these exemplary teams will have the opportunity to challenge their top-ranked peers from other countries around the world, including Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

SCHOOLS:

Alice High School Alice, TX
The Mandarin Chinese School Arlington, TX
Austin Middle School Austin, TX
Garza High School Austin, TX
McCallum High School Austin, TX
Hill Country Austin 4-H Austin, TX
Cedar Park High School Cedar Park, TX
Moody High School – Innovation Academy Corpus Christi, TX
Ball High School Galveston, TX
Lamar High School Houston, TX
Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy Houston, TX
Carnegie Vanguard High School Houston, TX
Tom Moore High School Ingram, TX
Heritage Academy Quinlan, TX
L.V. Berkner High School Richardson, TX
Richardson Berkner STEM Academy Richardson, TX
Roosevelt High School San Antonio, TX
Stacey High School San Antonio, TX

 

INTERVIEW / PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: 1:1 interviews with students, the U.S. Army, and the President of the REC Foundation will be available throughout the competition.  Photos of VEX Robots and teams interacting with their unique custom robots will be available upon request.

WHERE: Sunset Station 1174 East Commerce Street San Antonio, TX 78205

WHEN: Friday, January 3rd:

7:30 AM Open Registration, Begin Inspection, Practice Field Opens

8:45 AM Drivers Meeting

9:00 AM Opening Ceremonies

9:30 AM Qualification Matches Begin

10:00 AM Skills Challenges Open

12:30 PM Lunch Break

1:30 PM Qualification Matches Resume

3:30 PM Skills Challenges Close

4:00 PM Qualification Matches End

4:30 PM Alliance Selection Begins

5:00 PM Finals Tournament Begins

6:30 PM Awards Ceremony

7:00 PM Venue Closes

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REC FOUNDATION WELCOMES THE VEX ROBOTICS COMMUNITY BACK TO SCHOOL WITH NEW COMPETITIONS, GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

September 6th, 2013

ROCKWALL, TEXAS – September 5, 2013 – The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation today announced open registration for more than 350 competitions across three programs – VEX IQ, VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) and VEX U – at www.robotevents.com. In addition, the REC Foundation is pleased to share that the 2014 and 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, co-presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the REC Foundation, will once again take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on April 23-26, 2014 and April 22-25, 2015. This intense four-day annual robotics-engineering tournament will attract more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from over 25 countries to celebrate their accomplishments and further inspire their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Due to the exponential growth of the VEX Robotics Competition over the past season, the REC Foundation will offer new State/Province Championships that will provide an opportunity to qualify for the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship. To learn more about the State/Province Championships please read the 2013/2014 VEX State Championship Qualifying Criteria. In addition, the REC Foundation is excited to announce a new location and date for the VEX Robotics Competition U.S. National Championship, which will move to a summer event in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 10-12, 2014 in partnership with the Friends of Hawaii Robotics. The CREATE Foundation will continue to hold a premier event in the spring which will also qualify US teams for the National Championship in Hawaii. Please stay tuned for more information about both events, coming soon. Finally, the REC Foundation Online Challenges are available for viewing and will officially open for submissions on September 17, 2013.

“The REC Foundation is pleased to support the recent expansion of the VEX Robotics suite of programs, spanning elementary school through college, with a number of new competitions, grants and scholarship opportunities, and new curriculum resources to support teachers in the classroom,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “We are particularly focused on assisting the growing community of students, educators, mentors, volunteers, partners and sponsors involved in robotics engineering programs to advance STEM education.”

The REC Foundation continues to expand the number and selection of college and university scholarships and is pleased to introduce a new online resource to provide information about new team grant opportunities. VEX Robotics has also recently introduced a number of VEX IQ curriculum resources, which are aligned to the Common Core education standards, to support the early integration of robotics into the classroom. More information about all of these new offerings can be found at: www.roboticseducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work. For more information, please visit www.roboticseducation.org or www.robotevents.com.

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Building Robots Just Got a Lot Cooler: The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D

August 27th, 2013

Autodesk’s  In the Fold blog discusses VEX IQ this week. Read on to learn more.

“What do you get when you combine robots with advanced 3D modeling and some really creative students? The VEX Robotics Competition! This year, Autodesk is teaming up with VEX Robotics to make the competition even better by giving students a cool new way to design, imagine and create their robots: The  VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D®.

The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk® 123D® is a brand new, free 3D desktop design app made specifically for the VEX IQ robotics platform.  The desktop tool allows students to digitally access, assemble, share and test a library of VEX IQ mechanisms, gadgets and even entire robots!  Even better, there’s no CAD experience necessary to power up and use this app.  It is designed to introduce students to the modern principles of CAD while offering them a drag and drop environment where their creativity can go wild and hopefully inspire them to create some pretty great robots along the way.

Interested in learning more? Join us for the VEX Assembler Webcast on August 29th at 4:00 PM PT. A team from Autodesk and VEX Robotics will be walking through the features of the app and demonstrating the product in action. To register for the Webcast, click here. We hope to see you there!”

To read more about the VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D, click here to be taken directly to the blog post.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN FOUNDATION EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP OF VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

August 13th, 2013

Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Announces 2014 and 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship

August 13, 2013 –The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation today announced that the Northrop Grumman Foundation will be the presenting sponsor of the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in 2014 and 2015. In addition, the REC Foundation today announced that the 2014 and the 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championships will once again take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in California on April 23-26, 2014 and April 22 – 25, 2015. This intense three-day annual robotics-engineering tournament will attract more than 800 teams and 15,000 students from over 25 countries to celebrate their accomplishments and further inspire their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The Northrop Grumman Foundation recognizes the importance of hands-on, sustainable and affordable robotics engineering programs to increase student interest in the STEM fields and we greatly appreciate their increased support of the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Jason Morrella, president, REC Foundation. “In addition, the Anaheim Convention Center has been a true partner in accommodating our growth and we look forward to two more years at this fantastic venue.”

“VEX Robotics is a tremendous program that creates great learning, team work and fun while exciting young minds in STEM,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “As a global company, we are eager to support the expansion of VEX Robotics so more students worldwide have the opportunity to gain insight into the excitement of STEM and STEM careers and participate in this fun, yet challenging program.”

The newly expanded partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to growing demand in communities in the U.S. and around the world with support for operational growth, competition events and new team grants.

“The Anaheim Convention Center is the ideal location for the 2015 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of the world’s best and brightest young minds to Anaheim,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. ”There are many ways to impact current and future generations, and these young men and women are to be commended for their vision and dedication to excellence.”

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which provides student teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also providing valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 400 events that culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) is the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world with more than 7,300 teams in all 50 states and more than 25 countries. The VRC World Championship will include the introduction of VEX IQ, a new elementary robotics platform and competition, which combined with VEX U college and university level of competition, will enable students of all ages to have an opportunity to participate in robotics engineering concepts and advance their STEM knowledge. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org or to locate a competition event, please visit www.RobotEvents.com.

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STUDENTS FROM TEXAS & VIRGINIA TAKE TOP HONORS AT THE TSA NATIONAL VEX ROBOTICS COMPETITION

July 2nd, 2013

Outranking 100 Other Teams L.V. Berkner High School and Holman Middle School Named Excellence Award Winners at TSA 2013 National Conference

ROCKWALL, Texas – July 2, 2013 – Students from L.V. Berkner High School, Team 136S, from Richardson, Texas secured top honors with the overall Excellence Award and the Tournament Champion Award for the High School Division, meanwhile students from Holman Middle School, Team 6740A, from Glen Allen, Virginia were recognized with the overall Excellence Award for the Middle School Division at the Technology Student Association (TSA) National VEX Robotics Competition that took place in Orlando, Florida.  The students took part in three full days of competition with more than 100 teams participating from across the United States in conjunction with the 2013 National TSA Conference.  The action-packed competition schedule required middle and high school students to execute VEX Sack Attack, a game that is played on a 12’x12’ square field. Teams compete in matches consisting of a twenty-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver-controlled play plus individual program skills and robot skills challenges. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by scoring sacks in red and blue troughs, earning bonus points and doubling or negating goals.

“It’s wonderful to see the overall excitement, commitment to teamwork and robotics engineering design that the students displayed at the National TSA Conference,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. “The Technology Student Association has been a true partner in advancing STEM education with incredible robotics engineering and competition opportunities to students in their program and we are grateful for their continued support.”

To prepare for the competition, the groups worked together to design and build a robot using the VEX Robotics Design System, that could quickly and efficiently solve specific obstacles and challenges that come with playing the 2013/2014 game, VEX Sack Attack.

Each week, students apply what they’ve learned about science, technology, engineering and math in order to build the semiautonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition – design, communication, project management, teamwork, and the importance of composure, as students learn to deal with adversity in maximizing the design and performance of their robots wins and losses.

While Team 136S and Team 6740A won the event overall, many other teams also received esteemed awards. Award winners included:

  • Middle School Tournament Champions: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Tournament Champions: Team 136S, L.V. Berkner High School, TX
  • Middle School Robot Skills Award: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Robot Skills Award: Team 2131A, Davis High School, UT
  • Middle School Programming Skills Award: Team 4377B, Purcell Junior High School, OK
  • High School Programming Skills Award: Team 2131A, Davis High School, UT

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation is pleased to organize and offer more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events annually to reach well over 7,300 teams during the 2012-2013 season, which experienced 51% team growth year over year.

The TSA National VEX Robotics Competition is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year.  VEX Robotics is the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics program for middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, with more than 7,300 teams from 26 countries that participate in more than 400 VEX Robotics Competition events worldwide.

More information about The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics Competitions is available at robocticseducation.org and RobotEvents.com.

About the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to operating and supporting competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA and BEST Robotics Competitions, the Foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.

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Microchip Announces Sponsorship of 2013/2014 VEX® Robotics Competitions

May 2nd, 2013

Microchip Offers Grants for 20 Rookie Arizona VEX Teams and Loans Fully-Equipped Gaming Trailer for Teams to Hold Local Tournaments

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions announced support of several VEX® robotics tournaments in Arizona, providing opportunities for teams who were able to qualify for the 2013 VEX Robotics World Championship, which was held April 18-20, 2013 in Anaheim, CA presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation.  The challenge, VEX “Sack Attack” pitted team alliances against each other to score points by dumping as many sacks into their alliance troughs during a two minute match.  As a result of Microchip sponsorship grants, 20 rookie teams were created in Arizona in 2013 and two new playing fields were donated, allowing more events and more teams to participate.  More than 700 teams from 24 countries and 15,000 students competed in Anaheim and teams from Cave Creek, Arizona, took home awards in the “Create” and the Autodesk Design Award categories.

Steve Sanghi, President and CEO of Microchip Technology Inc., was inducted into the STEM Heroes Hall of Fame for his work in promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math throughout the years with his involvement with various robotics programs, including VEX, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and the Microchip Academic Program.  “I am honored to be included among this esteemed group of individuals who recognize that it is our responsibility to prepare the next generation of engineers, innovators and scientists so they can define new technology to create a stronger economy through education,” said Steve Sanghi, upon receiving this accolade.  VEX Robotics and the REC Foundation also announced a new program at the World Championship event, VEX IQ and the VEX IQ Challenge, will bring robotics to the elementary school level.  This makes VEX available to students in elementary school through college.

Microchip, in conjunction with the REC Foundation is expanding its support for 2013-2014 with an additional 20 grants that will be offered to rookie VEX teams in Arizona.  Additionally, Microchip will equip a portable VEX playing field system housed in a trailer that can be loaned out to Arizona teams who want to host scrimmages or qualifying tournaments in Arizona.  Two playing fields, electronics, and all gaming pieces will be included, allowing teams to put on their own VEX Robotics Competition events.  For more information or to get involved, contact Carol Popovich at carol.popovich@microchip.com or (480) 792-7938.

Resources
High-res VEX logo Available Through Flickr or Editorial Contact (feel free to publish): http://www.microchip.com/get/RCTC

Follow Microchip:

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:  MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.  Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.  For more information, visit the Microchip website at http://www.microchip.com/get/TNJ2.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work.  For more information on REC Foundation, visit http://www.microchip.com/get/VRQE or http://www.microchip.com/get/KT3V.

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VEX ROBOTICS EXPANDS INTO ELEMENTARY WITH LAUNCH OF VEX IQ

April 30th, 2013

Technologically Advanced, Tool-less System will Transform STEM Education for Younger Ages

VEX Robotics, Inc., announced today the launch of VEX IQ, a robotics platform designed to transform STEM learning for young students and their teachers. Students as young as six can jump right in and snap robots together using this intuitive, tool-less platform while educators can utilize the free VEX IQ Curriculum to help teach them valuable lessons and skills that are needed in today’s changing world.

“The VEX IQ platform is truly a revolution for STEM education at younger ages,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “We’ve taken our years of experience in educational robotics and created a simple, powerful and flexible platform for students and teachers alike.”

The VEX IQ system was designed to be simple and easy for students to use. Structural pieces snap together and come apart without tools, allowing for quick build times and easy modifications. A variety of gears, wheels and other accessories allows for complete customization of VEX IQ projects and mobile robots.

The Robot Brain takes high-end, powerful technology and simplifies it for educational use while keeping a high ceiling. Up to 12 Smart Port devices can be connected to the Robot Brain, which can then be controlled by built-in programs or programmed via a computer and compatible software program. In addition to using pre-programmed instructions, VEX IQ robots can be controlled by drivers using the Controller.

Free graphical programming software, powered by Modkit, allows for custom robot commands, sensor interaction and more and is included in every VEX IQ Kit. ROBOTC for VEX IQ, created by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy, allows robot programming in C. The VEX Assembler powered by Autodesk 123D adapts the power of Autodesk’s advanced 3D modeling tools, giving students the ability to assemble and test VEX IQ mechanisms and robots virtually.

VEX IQ Starter Kits are priced at $249.99 The VEX IQ Super Kit is $299.99. Kits are available for pre-order now and will begin shipping in June.

In addition to transforming STEM education in the classroom, VEX IQ will be used in the VEX IQ Challenge presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, an extracurricular STEM program for elementary and middle school students (ages eight to14). The power of the VEX IQ system combined with the REC Foundation’s years of experience inspiring students through robotics competitions is giving younger students more affordable access to the inspiration, excitement and learning that comes from participating in a STEM challenge.

For more information on VEX IQ, visit www.vexrobotics.com

For more information on the VEX IQ Challenge, visit RobotEvents.com

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Student-Engineered Robots from China, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S. Defeat the Competition at the 2013 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship

April 22nd, 2013

Largest Robotics Program in the World Introduces VEX IQ Product Line & VEX IQ Challenge to Reach New Elementary & Middle School Students & Schools

ROCKWALL, Texas, April 22, 2013 – Over the weekend, more than 15,000 student participants, educators, mentors, industry leaders and community members from 24 countries descended upon the Anaheim Convention Center to celebrate the accomplishments of 700 of the world’s best student-run VEX Robotics Competition teams, as they went head to head with their custom-built and programmed robots at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. Teams from China, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States reigned supreme, taking home the coveted Winning Alliance trophies for the Middle School World Championship, the High School World Championship, and the College World Championship competitions. Additionally, VEX IQ, a new line of educational robotics products, and the VEX IQ Challenge, the pilot competition program, were introduced to the world at the event by VEX Robotics, with nearly 70 elementary and middle school teams piloting the new program.

“The teams that qualify to compete in this championship attend with tremendous passion, and this weekend is really about celebrating their accomplishments along with the knowledge and experience they have gained as a result of their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. “Competitive robotics programs like the VEX Robotics Competition, provide an excellent opportunity for hands-on STEM learning that will make these students unstoppable in any career path they choose. These students are the leaders of their generation and we expect to see great achievements from them in the future,” concluded Morrella.

The global championship kicked-off on Wednesday and Thursday with initial qualification matches and skills challenges. On Friday morning, thousands of young engineers filed into the VEX Dome to participate in the opening ceremonies parade of nations, where each team proudly bore their respective countries’ brilliant flags. Following the parade, teams quickly transitioned to an afternoon full of intense back-to-back qualification matches. By Saturday, qualification rounds came to an end, the top performing teams went through the alliance selection process, and the division champion alliances collaborated to advance over their toughest competition yet in the finals. Entertainment attractions including the UCLA marching band and Light Force – an explosive hi-tech rhythmic drumming troupe, elevated the evening during the final competitions, guiding teams and spectators through the award ceremonies.

Altogether, more than 700 VEX teams out of more than 7,300 teams worldwide qualified to compete in one of four challenges hosted by the REC Foundation this past weekend. The competitions included: VEX IQ Challenge World Championship (ages 8-14 year olds), VRC Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14), VRC High School World Championship (ages 15-18) and the VEX U (ages18+).

The 2013 VEX Robotics World Championship Alliance Winners are as follows:

• The VEX IQ Challenge Teamwork Champions (Note – two alliances tied in the final match, resulting in a tie for Teamwork Champion). Champions included Team 44, Top Secret from Maddison Middle School in Rexburg, Idaho; Team 37, Rocky Mountain πrates from Friends School in Boulder, Colo.; Team 42, Annihilation=MG^2 from Community in Loveland, Colo.; Team 3018P, Techna Pawns from Techna PWN Robotics, in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

• The VRC Middle School World Champion Winning Alliance was Team 8065B, FT5 from Singapore Combined School in Singapore; Team 8192D, Shanghai Huangpu from Shanghai Huangpu Teenagers S&T Activity Center in Shanghai, China; and Team 7792A, Shishi Middle School A from Chengdu Shishi Middle School in Chengdu, China.

• The VRC High School World Champion Winning Alliance was Team 2625, Tech-Know Commandos from Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, Mass.; Team 2915A, Lynfield Jack Attack from Lynfield College in Auckland, New Zealand; and Team 2941D, Oats Robotics from Otumoetai College in Tauranga, New Zealand.

• The VEX U World Champion was Team TCAN1, UTCA from Universidad Tecnologica De Cancun in Cancun, Mexico.

“My team and I have been tweaking our robot since this time last year, trying to perfect and execute it as efficiently as possible and drive up our score against some of our toughest competitors,” said Jason McKinney from Team 2625, Tech-Know Commandos, part of the VEX Robotics High School Championship Winning Alliance from Worcester Technical High School in Worcester, Mass. “VEX has helped me realize my true potential and see exactly what we are able to accomplish as a team if we put all our effort into a common goal. I am absolutely overwhelmed with joy and exhaustion,” continued Jason.

Team 5225A, the E-Bots Pilons, from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, was presented with the overall VRC World Championship Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics Competition, given to the team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics program. Team NAR, North American Robotics, from Philadelphia, Pa. was presented with the VEX U World Championship Excellence Award. Team 37, Rocky Mountain πrates, from Friends School, in Boulder, Colo. received the VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School Excellence Award. Team 30, Gears and Geeks, from Newhart Middle School, in Mission Viejo, Calif. received the VEX IQ Challenge Middle School Excellence Award.

Several other technical and value-based awards were presented to teams throughout the event. Below is a list of the teams and individuals that were recognized for excelling in some of the top categories. For a complete list of award winners, including winners of the online challenges, visit http://www.robotevents.com/championship:

Tournament Finalists: Each team on the finalist alliance
-VRC MS Team 8065A, Zeus Jr. from Singapore Combined Schools in Singapore; Team 8192A, Shanghai Huangpu from Shanghai Huangpu Teenagers S&T Activity Center in Shanghai, China; and Team 8192C, Shanghai Huangpu from Shanghai Huangpu Teenagers S&T Activity Center in Shanghai, China
-VRC HS Team 2587Z, DiscoBots from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas; Team 2941A, Oats Robotics from Otumoetai College in Tauranga, New Zealand; and Team 1615A, Patribots from North Middlesex Regional High School in Townsend, Mass.
-VEX U Team NAR, Moose Eagles, from North American Robotics, in Philadelphia, Pa.

Robot Skills Challenge Champion: Team with the best robot skills score
-VEX IQ Challenge ES/MS team 42, Annihilation=MG^2, from Community in Boulder, Colo.
-VRC MS Team 8066A, Atom from Hai Sing Catholic School in Singapore
-VRC HS Team 2915A, Lynfield Jack Attack from Lynfield College in Auckland, New Zealand
-VEX U Team TZMG2, UT-Zona Metropolitana de Gdl from Universidad Tecnologica Zona Metropolitana Guadalajara in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga Jalisco, Mexico

Programming Skills Challenge Champion: Team with the best robot programming skills score
-VRC MS Team 8065A, Zeus Jr. from Singapore Combined Schools in Singapore
-VRC HS Team 5225A, E-Bots Pilons from E-Bots in Oakville, Canada
-VEX U Team TZMG2, UT-Zona Metropolitana de Gdl from Universidad Tecnologica Zona Metropolitana Guadalajara in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga Jalisco, Mexico

Design Award World Champion: Presented to a team that demonstrates a solid approach to the design process, project management, time management and team organization.
-VEX IQ Challenge ES Team 6148B, Bowie Bulldogs, from Greenville, Texas
-VEX IQ Challenge MS Team 3946R, Sun Devils, from Englewood, Colo.
-VRC MS/HS Team 3876C, RoboRattlers, from Longmont, Colo.

Educate Award World Champion: Given to a team that has been able to successfully integrate VEX Robotics into their STEM curriculums.
-VRC MS/HS Team 2918A, GCEC, from Glenfield College, in Auckland, New Zealand

Innovate Award World Champion: Presented to a team that has demonstrated a strong combination of ingenuity and innovation in designing their VEX robot.
-VEX IQ Challenge ES/MS Team 35D, Crandroids, from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
-VRC MS/HS Team 3018, Techna Pwn Robotics, from Council Bluffs, Iowa
-VEX U Team BLRS, Boiler Robotics, from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Inspire Award World Champion: Presented to a team that demonstrates outstanding leadership through actions with other teams.
-VRC MS/HS Team 323Z, Aftershock, from Cornerstone Robotics in Greenwood, Ind.

Mentor of the Year Award: Given to a team mentor that has helped their students achieve goals that were seemingly out of reach. This individual is a role model, a leader and an extraordinary mentor who helps show students new ways to expand their knowledge and solve problems in the worlds of STEM.
-Stephen Sadler, VRC Team 5194, the East Barnet 1, from East Barnet School in the U.K.
-Pat Fairbank, VRC Team 254, the Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Calif.

Partner of the Year: Given to an event sponsor that has gone above and beyond to help spread the VEX footprint to even more teams and students.
-Janet Auer, Global Partnerships and Programs Specialist, Chevron

Teacher of the Year: Presented to a teacher who shows true leadership and dedication to his/her group of students. The winner of this award continually goes “the extra mile” to ensure a safe, enjoyable and educational experience for all students.
-David Kelly, VRC Team 134 from Pembroke Academy, in Pembroke, N.H.
-Melissa Fernandez, VRC Team 619A, Mecha Makos, from MAST Academy in Miami, Fla.

Volunteer of the Year: Given to an outstanding event volunteer.
-Jim Musil, from Omaha Public Schools, in Omaha, Neb.
-Roger & Martha Proulx, VRC Team 5900, from Bayshore High School in Bradenton, Fla.

STEM Hall of Fame Inductees:
-Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
-Steve Sanghi, Founder and CEO, Microchip Technology
-Daniela Rodriguez, Student, Miami, Fla.

For those looking forward to getting a jump on next year’s robot designs, the 2013/2014 VEX Robotics Competition and College Challenge game will be VEX Toss Up. VEX Toss Up is played on a 12 ft. x 12 ft. foam-mat, surrounded by a sheet-metal and Lexan perimeter. The field includes hexagonal-shaped Lexan goals, a sheet metal bump, hanging bars and a PVC and sheet metal fence. Teams score points by scoring BuckyBalls and large balls into goals or by placing them in different zones on the field. Points are also scored for robots that are hanging at the end of the match.

Partners and sponsors of the 2013 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship include the Northrop Grumman Foundation, Autodesk, Chevron, EMC, Go Daddy.com, Innovation First International, Microchip, NASA, and Texas Instruments. In addition, VEX Robotics continually reaches students in the classroom through key partnerships with notable education-based organizations, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Technology Students Association (TSA).

About REC Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work. For more information on REC Foundation, visit www.roboticseducation.org.

About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to middle schools, high schools, colleges and robotics teams around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The VEXpro product line, designed for large scale competitive robots, gives robotics enthusiasts superior performance for less cost. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on VEX Robotics, visit www.vexrobotics.com.