Students from around the Midwest region will soon gather at Missouri University of Science and Technology to compete at the Missouri state VEX Championship, a regional robotics competition for middle- and high-school students.
 
The VEX competition will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, in Missouri S&T’s Student Recreation Center and the adjoining Gale Bullman Building, located at 10th Street and Bishop Avenue (U.S. Highway 63) in Rolla.
 
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.
 
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.
 
This year’s competition, titled “In the Zone,” is played on a 12-foot by 12-foot square field and pits two teams of two in competition. The two alliances will then compete in matches consisting of both autonomous and driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by stacking cones on goals, having the highest stacks, scoring goals in designated areas and by parking robots correctly.
 
“The VEX robotics competition prepares students to become future leaders and innovators,” says Linda Bright, associate director of program operations for Project Lead The Way (PLTW) at Missouri S&T. “In addition to learning valuable engineering skills, students gain life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management and critical thinking.”
 
The competition is sponsored by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation and PLTW. For more information about VEX robotics, visit roboticseducation.org or vexrobotics.com.