VEX Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April!
Teams are challenged every season with a new game with new rules, new tasks, new fields, and new robots. Students analyze the new game and begin strategizing as early in the season as possible.
While competing, teams travel and meet new teams from around the region, state, nation, and world. Members learn to collaborate with new people from new teams as they work at competition.
At Avengineers, we're still aiming for our first admissions to Worlds. With this year's large addition of new members, we feel we're well poised to perform our best season so far. During this season, we're signed up for the most competitions we have ever entered during a single season and entered more REC Foundation Online Challenges; the team has high hopes for performing well past qualification. Through the tenacity of our parent volunteers and our president, Gabriel Drucker, we were able to organize and host our first competition at Amador Valley in January of 2019 and had a great time hosting and speaking with all the teams that entered.
The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the ultimate STEM activity for middle school and high school students (ages 11-18). Each year, an engineering challenge is presented 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. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotics Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills.
The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is a brand new STEM program for elementary and middle school students (ages 8-14). Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, will build a robot using the VEX IQ robotics platform to solve an engineering challenge that is presented in the form of a game. VEX IQ Challenge teams will work together scoring points in Teamwork Matches, and also display their robot’s skills individually in driver controlled and autonomous Skills Challenges. In addition to building robots, the VEX IQ Challenge will encourage students to actively learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a STEM themed research project that consists of a written or media presentation.
VEX U takes the VEX Robotics Competition to the next level for university students (ages 18+). Students build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches and Skills Challenges. VEX U teams participate in the same game as VEX Robotics Competition, but with a few twists. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in VEX U students get to apply the theoretical STEM knowledge they learn in their college courses, while picking-up many of the academic and life skills necessary to excel in the work force.
Tony Norman, an Electrical Engineer, and Bob Mimlitch, a Mechanical Engineer, met early in their careers. While mentoring students on a local high school robotics team, Tony and Bob discovered they both had the same beliefs about "the right way to do things" during the problem solving process.
To this day, Bob and Tony believe in the power of challenging convention.They don't believe that "we’ve always done it this way" or "this is how everyone does it" is ever a justification for a solution. They value creative approaches to problem solving; not just in engineering design but in all aspects of business. They are often able to find simple and elegant solutions by focusing on creativity early in the design process. They love "quick and dirty" prototypes which help re-frame problems, and believe in the methodical and iterative nature of the engineering design process. Most of all, both of our founders believe in the power of hard-work, and that above all else, passion will drive quality and bring success.
Like many other creative high-tech companies, Innovation First (IFI) originally started in a garage. Specifically, our company was born out of Tony’s garage in Greenville, TX (about 40 miles east of Dallas). From this humble beginning we quickly grew to include three distinct divisions, over 300 employees and nine offices worldwide. Tony and Bob continue to be passionate about STEM mentorship and founded the VEX Robotics division to carry forward their local efforts on a global scale. VEX lives on as IFI's largest subsidiary.
VEX Robotics is now a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities and robotics teams around the world.Our VEX IQ and VEX EDR product lines span all levels of education with accessible, scalable, and affordable robotics solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages creativity, 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.
Tony and Bob remain actively involved with the company they founded. We rely on their visionary leadership as VEX continues to expand. Each actively works to cultivate and safeguard the unique culture that makes us who we are. VEX’s impact would not be possible without their continued guidance.