Robotics Resources from the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation exists to bring the excitement of competitive robotics to students all over the globe. To advance its mission, the organization presents annual VEX Competitions, which engage elementary school through college students in hands-on robotics and STEM experiences across the United States and around the world. Today, these competitions reach over 20,000 teams in 50 countries.
Each year, the robotics competition season culminates in April at the VEX Robotics World Championship, where the best teams from across the United States and around the world gather to challenge their top-ranked peers to become world champions.
Eleanor Honious, a past VEX Robotics Competition participant and current student at Rose-Hulman Institute, shared her experience with the program:
“VEX Robotics Competitions inspired me to pursue STEM by establishing some of my first formal, hands-on engineering experience,” she said. “With VEX, I learned different designing techniques and approaches, and I learned about mechanical mechanisms. I learned how to solder and about gear ratios. I even learned how to keep a well-organized engineering notebook that was filled with design drawings, and math and physics equations for their implementations. While I was learning all of these different things, I was having the time of my life and I was fortunate enough to realize at such a young age that this was the kind of work I wanted to pursue.”
Getting involved in VEX Competitions is simple, and participation builds an interest in STEM and advances life skills – such as teamwork, communication, and collaboration – that serve students well into their future careers.
Teachers can get started by identifying the program that is the right fit for their school and students and then reviewing the 10 additional resources outlined below.
Which Program is Right for Your Students and School?
VEX IQ Challenge: Elementary School and Middle School
The VEX IQ Challenge Next Level brings elementary and middle school students together to compete in teamwork challenges with custom-built robots using VEX IQ. Teams compete as an alliance during a 60-second match, working collaboratively to score points. Together, they seek to attain the highest score by placing colorful hubs in building zones, by removing hubs from the hanging structure, and by hanging robots at the end of the match.
VEX Robotics Competition: Middle School, High School, and College
The VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point brings middle school, high school, and college students together with guidance from their teachers and mentors to compete against each other with robots they designed, built, and programmed using VEX EDR. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – are formed and consist of two teams each. Students compete in 15-second autonomous matches followed by one minute and 45 seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by high scoring or low scoring caps, toggling flags, and alliance parking or center parking robots on the platforms.
10 Additional Resources for VEX Competitions Teams and Coaches
- How to Start a VEX IQ Challenge Team
- How to Start a VEX Robotics Competition Team
- Connect With Your Regional Support Manager
- REC Foundation Code of Conduct
- Current Game Information
- Team Grants
- VEX Regional Grants
- VEX Competitions and Team Map
- 101 Things to Know Before Competing
- Early-Bird Registration FAQ