The world’s future innovators, problem solvers and engineers are convening in Louisville, Kentucky as part of the world’s largest robotics event: The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s 12th annual VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The REC Foundation’s VEX Robotics World Championship is a week-long event celebrating hands-on STEM learning. Held April 24 – 30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, the world’s top teams gather to compete in robotics competitions focused on creative design and problem solving.
The REC Foundation’s VEX Competitions make up the largest and fastest growing robotics engineering platform in the world consisting of the following programs: the VEX IQ Challenge (Elementary & Middle School), the VEX Robotics Competition (Middle School & High School) and VEX U (College/University). 24,000 robotics teams from all 50 states and 60 countries compete in these programs on a local level throughout the year. Out of this group, 1,650 teams qualify to attend the REC Foundation’s VEX Robotics World Championship based on their success at their state and regional championships.
“With the demand for STEM-related skills growing at such a fast pace, competitions like this help spark student interest and excitement in technology and pursuing high-tech careers,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation.
In fact, a June 2018 study by The REC Foundation showed that nine out of 10 students express interest in pursuing STEM careers after participating in the VEX Robotics Competition.
Mantz continued, “Each year during the world championship, I look around at the diverse group of bright students gathered from around the world, and realize I’m looking at the faces of the future of innovation. It’s really astounding.”
This year, more than 25,000 people are expected to attend the competition.
“Every day we’re focused on bringing hands-on STEM learning experiences to students around the globe” said Tony Norman, Co-Founder and President of VEX Robotics. “The VEX World Championship is the culmination of that education, and seeing the excitement, passion and creativity of these young students shows we have a bright future ahead.”
Girl Powered + #IamRemarkable
The REC Foundation and VEX Robotics also promote teamwork, collaboration and diversity within the STEM community through programs such as Girl Powered. The Girl Powered initiative provides tools and resources to students and mentors to promote female involvement in STEM and helps create an environment where students’ confidence and abilities can flourish.
Google recently expanded its partnership with the REC Foundation, and at the world championship event this year, Dr. Njema Frazier, nuclear physicist for the Department of Energy, will introduce #IamRemarkable, Google’s initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups, that will now include high school girls.
“I was a high school student when I learned that I was especially talented in math and science and what I thought was normal aptitude in mathematics was, in fact, exceptional. It was that knowledge that gave me the confidence to major in physics,” said Frazier. “That’s why working with Google to announce the extension of the #IamRemarkable campaign to high school girls during the REC Foundation’s VEX Robotics World Championship is so meaningful. Females have an untapped genius to apply in the STEM space, and yet we are underrepresented. I say, it’s about time we changed that.”
The REC Foundation’s VEX Robotics World Championship is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Other Global Sponsors who support the program year-round and at the world championship include: Autodesk, Dell, Google, HEXBUG, IFI NASA, Rack Solutions, Robomatter, Tesla, Texas Instruments, Toyota, TVA, VEX Robotics, MathWorks, Microchip, UPS, Nordson, Nissan, Robot Mesh, Advanced Manufacturing and Logistic Network, Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, Maker Mobile, Inc., TATA consulting, and ZEON.
About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.
About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities, and robotics teams around the world. The VEX IQ and VEX EDR product lines span elementary, middle, and high schools with accessible, scalable, and affordable robotics solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. It allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students’ abilities as they inspire & prepare the STEM problem-solvers of tomorrow.