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Vex Robotics: Program/Competitions for Aspiring Tech Students

By Reilly McKnight

October 22, 2022


[Photo Credit: Denver Photo Booth Rentals]

Every year, in over 70 nations around the world, more than 30,000 aspiring young scientists and engineers compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship. However, the VEX program spans even beyond this one major event with a variety of different competitions held year-round at state, regional, and national levels for students with a wide range of interests in this emerging field of technology, which blends applied physics, mathematics, design, programming, teamwork, leadership, etc.

For younger students in grades 4-8, the VEX IQ Competitions offer an engaging introduction to the competitive world of robotics through teamwork challenges, skills challenges, and STEM research projects. Additionally, VEX IQ provides purchasable robotics kits for school clubs and programs. These kits are compatible with Block, Python, and C++ coding languages giving students experience in programming as well.

Older students in grades 6-12 can take part in the VEX Robotics Competitions which have standard matches, robot skills challenges, and online activities pushing participants to attempt more complex tasks and functions. VEX has also begun to implement Artificial Intelligence in some competitions including challenges that must be performed solely by robotic sensors and communication.

Additionally, for students interested in founding a robotics club at their high school, VEX and their donors offer grants to support local programs starting out in the competitive or educational areas of robotics.

Studies have shown that VEX programs have been a significant contributor to fostering my engagement in technology among students even beyond their time in high school. A research report focused on low-income, urban students (ages 9-14) revealed its impactful benefits. Over 90% of students surveyed believed that their experience in the robotics program has significantly increased their interest in tech and a large portion of them now hoped to pursue a future career in STEM.

In summation, VEX Robotics offers an engaging outlet for STEM-focused students as interest in robotics, computer science, and other facets of technology continues to flourish in the modern world.


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Hendricks, Cher, et al. “The Impact of Participation in VEX Robotics Competition on Middle

School and High School Students' Interest in Pursuing STEM Studies and STEM-Related

Careers.” Nevada Robotics, American Society for Engineering Education, 2012,


Melchior, Alan, et al. “Evaluation of FIRST LEGO League Underserved Initiative.” Brandeis

University, 2005.

“VEX AI Competition - VEX Robotics.” VEX Robotics, 2022,

“VEX Robotics Competition: A Picture Perfect Opportunity.” Picture Perfect - Blog, Denver

Photo Booth Rentals, 29 Mar. 2019,


Photo Credit: Denver Photo Booth Rentals

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