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.

THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS GEAR UP FOR 2013 VEX ROBOTICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

April 15th, 2013

15,000 Participants from 24 Countries around the World Unite in Anaheim, Ca. for the Ultimate Competitive Robotics Showdown on April 17-20, 2013

ROCKWALL, Texas, April 15, 2013 – On April 17-20, 2013, more than 15,000 participants comprised of the world’s smartest middle school, high school and university students, from 24 countries around the world, will converge at the Anaheim Convention Center to flex their robotic brawn at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship, presented by the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. More than just an exercise in programming and driving robots, these tech-savvy students turn robotics into an engaging hands-on sport that is riveting to watch.

The 2013 VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) World Championship, which will be held with free admission to the general public, serves as the pinnacle event of the season for the largest and fastest growing educational and competitive robotics program in the world. After dedicating countless hours designing, building, programming and honing their strategy skills at more than 400 local, regional and national VRC events, 700 out of more than 7,300 total VRC teams have earned the right to travel to Anaheim, California where they will form strategic alliances with other teams and challenge their toughest competitors playing the 2012-2013 season game VEX Sack Attack.

“The fact that the REC Foundation has grown the VEX Robotics Competition by 51 percent this past year is testament to the growing demand from today’s students who want to engage in robotics competitions, just as we typically see with physical sports,” said Jason Morrella, president of the REC Foundation. “We are committed to providing today’s youth with more opportunities and increased access to high-quality STEM programs like VEX Robotics, which will best prepare them to become our future innovators and thought leaders, while having fun in the process.”

The VEX Robotics Competition provides students and teams worldwide with the perfect storm of applied physics, mathematics, computer programming, digital prototyping, integrated problem solving, teamwork and leadership. Under specific rules and with limited resources, VRC teams learn about time management as they build and program customized robots using the VEX Robotics Design System, which they use to compete in alliances, executing the game VEX Sack Attack, which takes place on a 12’x12’ square field. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – compete in matches consisting of an autonomous period followed by driver- controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring sacks and bonus sacks in the colored floor goals, troughs and high goal, and by having the most robots of your color parked at the end of the match.

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

Fans can follow the competition and sign up for real-time competition news and results via live webcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Ptch 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.

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.

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GO DADDY PARTNERS WITH RECF TO EXPAND K-12 ROBOTICS OFFERINGS IN 4 STATES

April 8th, 2013

Go Daddy provides $65,000 grant to support the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship & State Championships in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Iowa

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and Go Daddy, today announced a $65,000 partnership grant to support growth and development of four VEX Robotics Competition State Championships in Arizona, California, Colorado and Iowa. The partnership also supports the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Anaheim, CA on April 18-20, an event that will attract 700+ teams and 15,000 students for three full days of robotics engineering competition.

“Go Daddy clearly values expanding student interest and access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs, like the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “With Go Daddy’s generous support, more students, teachers and parents will have access to affordable and challenging hands-on robotics engineering education and competition opportunities.”

Go Daddy is the Web’s top platform for small businesses and serves more than 11 million customers worldwide. “Go Daddy believes it has a responsibility to invest in these tech-savvy students,” said Go Daddy Chief Human Resources Officer Lane Jarvis. “Go Daddy is passionate about creating opportunities for them. The students are learning valuable science and math concepts that are vital to their success as the next generation of technologists. The upcoming competitions are smart, fun and exciting events and a great fit for students – and for Go Daddy.”

The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) has experienced incredible growth due to the efforts of the REC Foundation, expanding to include well-over 7,300 teams, accounting for 51 percent year-over-year team growth during the 2012-2013 season. The partnership with Go Daddy will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to this growth by adding or expanding state competitions in Arizona, California, Colorado and Iowa.

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which provides students and teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also engaging them in valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 350 events which culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

VRC is the largest co-curricular middle and high school robotics program and is expected to reach more than 85,000 students during the 2012-2013 season. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit RoboticsEducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition 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.

About Go Daddy
Go Daddy is the world’s largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. Go Daddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and is the #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com/PR.
- Go Daddy Operating Company, LLC – Copyright © 2013 GoDaddy.com, LLC All Rights Reserved

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VEX® Robotics Appoints John V-Neun as Vice President of Engineering

February 12th, 2013

V-Neun Chosen to Oversee Product Development Growth Worldwide

GREENVILLE, Texas – Feb. 10, 2013 – VEX® Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, announced today that John V-Neun has been named Vice President of Engineering. In this role, V-Neun will help manage the explosive growth of the VEX Robotics product lines, and will be responsible for the company’s engineering & educational development projects worldwide.

V-Neun has more than eight years of product development, project management, and engineering design experience. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in upstate New York, he relocated to Greenville, TX to join the Innovation First International team. Mr. V-Neun was one of the primary designers responsible for the initial development of the VEX Robotics Design System, and has been involved with VEX Robotics since its inception, serving as the company’s product manager and later Director of Product Development.

“John is a results-oriented leader with a proven track record of developing successful product lines,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics, Inc. “He is well suited for this position, and I am confident in his ability to lead the charge as we continue to provide high quality, affordable & accessible products that will engage students worldwide.”

A prominent member in the robotics community, V-Neun has spent nearly 15 years as a participant, volunteer and mentor of FIRST®. In 2008, he was recognized by FIRST® as a Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner, an honor which celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design.

“VEX Robotics is at a very exciting point in time, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead our engineering team as we work to create the next generation of products that will help advance STEM education,” said John V-Neun, vice president of engineering for VEX Robotics, Inc. “I am excited by what we’ve accomplished over the past five years, and with what we plan to accomplish in the next five.”

VEX is the only middle and high school robotics platform with significant penetration in both the daytime classroom instruction and extracurricular competitions. The company’s mission is to make VEX Robotics accessible to as many schools as possible, to as many students as possible, in as many cities, states and countries as possible.

About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational robotics products to middle schools, high schools and colleges 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 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 the VEX Robotics Design System, visit www.vexrobotics.com.

Northrop Grumman Foundation & REC Foundation to Create New Robotics Teams

February 6th, 2013

Northrop Grumman Foundation provides $2 million grant to support VEX Robotics Competition expansion in new locations worldwide

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation today announced a partnership to establish 200 new VEX Robotics Competition teams in locations worldwide and support the program’s outreach. In addition, the partnership will support the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Anaheim, Calif., April 17-20, an event that will attract more than 700 teams and 15,000 students for three days of robotics engineering competition.

“Our partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation illustrates our shared objective to advance student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] through accessible hands-on robotics engineering programs,” said Jason Morrella, president, REC Foundation. “We are grateful to the Northrop Grumman Foundation for its support and commitment to STEM, and we look forward to expanding our reach to students and schools in need across the United States and internationally.”

“We’re delighted with the continued growth of this program,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “The competitions are fun and challenging, and they are generating increasing interest in STEM with our young people, which is our goal.”

The REC Foundation is on target to increase to 7,000 teams – a 30 percent growth this year alone. The 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, events and new team grants. Locations targeted for expansion include: Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, Dallas, Florida and Mississippi. The Northrop Grumman Foundation will provide a $2 million grant over two years beginning in 2013.

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which 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 350 events that culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world and is expected to reach more than 85,000 students during the 2012-2013 season. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.

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.

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information please visit www.northropgrumman.com/foundation.

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VEX Robotics Relaunches VEXpro Product Line with over 120 New & Improved Products

December 5th, 2012

Competitive robotics teams to benefit from more options at a lower price

GREENVILLE, TEXAS (December 5, 2012) — VEX Robotics, Inc., announced today a full restructuring of its VEXpro product line with product updates and new releases, giving high-end competitive roboticists superior performance at a lower price. The release includes over 120 new products, including DC motors, gearboxes and wheels.

“We are extremely excited about the re-launch of our VEXpro product line,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “Competitive robotics teams that build large-scale robots can now do more for significantly less cost.”

Highlights of the VEXpro line include – VEXpro Ball Shifters that utilize a ball lock shifting method accomplished with a lightweight and compact pancake pneumatic cylinder that is included, VersaPlanetary gearboxes that allow for multitudes of gear ratio options and motor choices without requiring a custom pinion gear, and the VersaHub system that ensures precise alignment of wheels and sprockets with the high quality nature of all VEXpro gears and sprockets.

“Competitive robotics enthusiasts will be highly impressed by all of the subtle details in these new products,” said John V-Neun, director of product development for VEX Robotics. “We designed the new VEXpro products to be easily integrated into almost any application, with no frustration or workarounds required.”

The updates to the VEXpro product line launch just in time for the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition season, of which VEX Robotics and parent company Innovation First International are proud supporters. The companies donate products to the competition’s kit of parts and provide support and mentors to competition teams.

For information about VEXpro, visit www.vexpro.com

About VEX Robotics, Inc.
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.

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VEX Robotics & IFI Increase Support of FRC Teams

November 5th, 2012

VEX Robotics and its parent company, Innovation First International (IFI), have been strong supporters of the FIRST Robotics Competition for more than 14 years. Each year, the company provides mentors, team sponsorship opportunities and is an official supplier for the FRC Kit of Parts.

For the 2013 season, Innovation First International has taken strides to support FRC teams more profoundly by increasing its Kit of Parts donation. In addition, we are excited to announce that from December 5, 2012 – April 15, 2013, FRC teams will be able to purchase the new Victor 888 motor controller from VEX Robotics for only $50.

We understand that many FRC teams operate with limited resources, and this new pricing is intended to help teams purchase the additional motor controllers they need for the upcoming season, without going over their budget. Various IFI stickers will be included in every FRC Kit of Parts so teams who take advantage of this donation can show appreciation by placing them on their robot.

We wish all teams the best in the upcoming season!

Virginia Communities Host Summer Robotics Camps

August 13th, 2012

Robotics has been a big craze in the Virginia communities of Prince William, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. During the school year public schools, private schools, home schools have the opportunities to compete in seven types of robotics programs available to students from as early as elementary school to as far as high school..Now even college level. But that has not been enough, the robotics summer camp is on its 4th year of existence and it has grown five times as much in that time frame.

Friday, August 10th was the last day of the 2012 summer robotics camps hosted by SySTEMic Solutions, part of Northern Virginia Community College.

250 students from elementary thru high school participated in 11 different types of camps. Some campers were in camps that included the Food Factor challenge or the advanced fire fighter challenge. Other campers were in Jason camp which included underwater robotics and cameras to help guide them thru a series of mazes. Lastly, the largest camps have been the VEX robotics camps for middle and high school students. Both Woodbridge High School and Patriot High School have hosted these camps from the beginner VEX programmer/builder to those with 2+ years of experience in a two week advanced VEX camp.

The community was invited to Patriot High School to see the accomplishments of the advanced VEX robotics students and the other campers robotic activities.

These students are having fun in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) skills while participating in a fun competition. Students are learning how industries such as Micron, Lockheed Martin and FBI/PWC Police use robotics in their business from manufacturing to law enforcement. This final competition day was very exciting for the students, the coaches and the families!!

Baltimore City Public School Students making the most of their summer with VEX Robotics

August 1st, 2012

Over 200 Baltimore city students are putting their VEX Robotics engineering prowess to good use today during the 2012 BCPSS Summer Robotics Olympiad in Timonium, MD.  The Olympiad is the culminating event for these students who are part of Baltimore’s 5-week “Create the Solution” summer VEX Robotics program.  When the Summer Olympiad closes today at 5:30 PM, the winning alliance will go home with the title of 2012 BCPSS Summer Robotics Olympiad Tournament Champion.

Baltimore’s “Create the Solution” summer program is one of several high-quality summer learning programs recognized by the National Summer Learning Association for providing an unequal summer learning environment to students in at-risk communities.  The Baltimore City Public School System added the VEX Robotics platform to its summer offerings in 2010 as part of a system-wide summer school revamp aimed at reducing the learning loss in the math and science disciplines by the city’s students.  The VEX Robotics program is one of several “Create the Solution” summer programs being offered this year to increase the achievement of Baltimore’s students.

Additional information about today’s 2012 Summer Robotics Olympiad can be found at http://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-robotics-competition/baltimore-city-schools-robotics-olympiad.html