Missouri S&T to host VEX robotics championships

Action from the 2016 VEX competition. Photo by Sam O'Keefe, Missouri S&T.

Action from the 2016 VEX competition. Photo by Sam O’Keefe, Missouri S&T.

For the second year in a row, middle- and high-school students from around Missouri will travel to Missouri University of Science and Technology to compete in the regional VEX Robotics Championship.

The VEX competition will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, in Missouri S&T’s Student Recreation Center and the adjoining Gale Bullman Building, located at the corner of 10th Street and Bishop Avenue (U.S. Highway 63). Opening ceremonies begin at 9:45 a.m.

The VEX Championship is a nationwide robotics competition that involves teams of up to 10 students grades 8-12. Each team designs, builds and programs robots for a tournament-style competition.

“The educational impact, along with the development of real world leadership skills, makes this program priceless,” says Adam Arnold, coordinator for the VEX event at Missouri S&T. “The students that qualify from this event move on to the World Championships and will gain worldwide connections and skills that they may not have received in any class.”

Each year, VEX robotics offers an engineering challenge to students in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and skills challenges.VRC_Starstruck-Rev1-01-300x229

Participants in this year’s competition – titled “Starstruck” – will try to earn as many points as possible by moving various star- and cube-shaped objects from the field into their respective goal zones. They can also increase their score by having their robots grab a bar, lift their own weight into the air and hang in the air for a set time.

The competition is sponsored by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation. For more information about VEX robotics, visit roboticseducation.org. To volunteer to help at the event, contact Linda Bright.