The year I started teaching was the year I began building a VEX robotics team. A box of parts and one returning club member was how the team started for me. The former club advisor had been moved to a different school in the district. Since then I have grown the club, my stockpile of parts, and my understanding of the competition. So what is VEX?
VEX is a building/robotics platform with the metal structure and nuts and bolts building of the old erector sets combined with the sensors and tech similar to Lego Mindstorms. Anyone teaching the Project Lead The Way Principles of Engineering course would be familiar with these kits. Although more time consuming to put together, these creations are more durable and flexible than many of the other platforms out there. For elementary school students VEX has released VEX IQ. This product is more Lego than Erector set, however offers both in-class and extra curricular opportunities.
For high school, middle school, and elementary school students there are team competitions with a changing scenario each year. This year’s competition is titled Skyrise. From Vex Robotics wiki:
VEX Skyrise is played on a 12’x12’ square field configured as seen above. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play.
The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by Scoring your colored Cubes in Floor Goals, on Posts or on your Skyrise, by Owning Posts, and by Building your Skyrise Sections.
Some dates of local competition:
- October 22, 2014- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
- November 8, 2014- Saturday- Liverpool Vex Competition 8am-3pm
- November 12, 2014- Wednesday- Open Practice – Nottingham High School 3pm-8pm
- November 22, 2014- Saturday- SUNY Oswego NOR’Easter Vex Competition- 8am-3pm
- December 3, 2014- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
- December 6, 2014- Saturday- SCSD Intercity Vex Challenge Nottingham 8am-3pm
- December 13, 2014- Saturday- Saratoga Springs Vex Challenge 8am-3pm
- January 10, 2015- Saturday- Livonia Vex Competition 8am-3pm
- January 17, 2015- Saturday- Baldwinsville Vex Competition 8am-3pm
- February 4, 2015- Wednesday- Open practice – Nottingham High School 3pm- 8pm
- February 7, 2015- Saturday- Northern New York State Vex Championship SRC Arena 7am-5pm
- April 22-27, 2015- World Championships Kentucky
For more information on VEX, Skyrise, or competitions in the Central New York area check out: http://www.vexrobotics.com/competition