The Robots Are Coming

Robotics fanatics, gear up! The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, will return to Dallas from 2021 to 2024.

The week-long event celebrates hands-on STEM learning as the world’s top teams gather to compete in robotics competitions focused on creative design and problem-solving.

The championship showcases students’ technical skills and accomplishments through the following programs: the VEX IQ Challenge (elementary and middle school), the VEX Robotics Competition (middle school and high school), and VEX U (college/university).

“Robotics teams from across the world compete in these programs on a local level throughout the year, culminating in 1,650 teams who qualified to attend the VEX Robotics World Championship based on their success at the regional championship,” said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.

The competition will kick off with opening ceremonies, then move to high-energy matches where students put their custom-built robots to the test with the help of mentors, educators, and professional engineers.

“Over the course of four days, the different divisions compete in robotic engineering challenges to ultimately be crowned World Champions,” said Jenn DeBarge-Goonan, CEO of Rocket Social Impact. “Spectators get immersed into the highly dynamic environment and will experience innovation, teamwork, and creative problem-solving at its best.”

Local schools are welcome and encouraged to participate in the competition. A World Champion crowned in 2019 was from Flower Mound High School, and the REC Foundation hopes to see more local schools vying for championships, Paul said.

“This competition has grown significantly over the years on a local level because it has been an inspiration for fellow students to be a part of a highly rewarding experience,” Debarge-Goonan said. “Nothing gets people fired up like the excitement of head-to-head competition. Either in the classroom or after school, students are given a chance to create and design a robot, build it, program it, and compete with other teams in their community. By building a robot, students open their eyes to exciting career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

The championship will take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas. Dallas hosted the competition in 2009 and 2010, and Paul said the REC Foundation is excited to bring it back to the area and extend the STEM education and opportunities here within our community.

“As a hotbed for STEM jobs and the home of the REC Foundation, based close by in Greenville, Dallas is the perfect choice for the competition,” DeBarge-Goonan said. “We know firsthand how committed the city is to innovation, STEM education, and the future workforce.”

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