More than 1,000 students from across the state will compete at Tennessee's VEX Robotics Competition March 2 at Brentwood Academy with hopes of earning a spot to compete in this year's 12th Annual World Competition in April. An added feature for this year's tournament will be the TN Driving Innovation Lab which will be on site and open to the public for hands-on experimentation throughout the tournament.
More than 100 elementary, middle, and high school teams from all points in the state have qualified to compete in the tournament presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation. Students have spent nearly a year designing, programming, and building robots for head-to-head competition in the VEX challenges. Each team attending the tournament qualified after competing throughout the year at regional competitions. The tournament is open to the public and free of charge. Competition hours Saturday are 10:00-4:00; Brentwood Academy is located at 219 Granny White Pike in Brentwood.
New to the tournament this year is the TN Driving Innovation Lab which will be open to the public throughout the day. The 40-foot STEM lab on wheels is an initiative of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. It provides students hands-on experimentation with STEM-related technology including carbon fiber and resin 3D printers, drones, virtual reality, laser cutter and etcher, a tabletop CNC router, a Baxter industrial robot, and a programmed selfie station.
In addition to learning valuable engineering skills, these challenges allow students to gain life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management, and critical thinking. The VEX Robotics Competition prepares students to become future innovators with 95% of participants reporting an increased interest in STEM subject areas and pursuing STEM-related careers.
"Along with many schools worldwide, Brentwood Academy has seen the growth and increased interest in robotics engineering programs, and we are thrilled to support our students' interest by organizing and competing in the state tournament," said Wendy Stallings, Brentwood Academy physics teacher and tournament organizer.
The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is the largest and fastest growing middle school and high school robotics program globally with more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries playing in over 1,700 competitions worldwide. Sponsors and partners for the program include Northrup Grumman, TVA, NASA, and Dell. The competition season culminates each Spring, with the highly-anticipated VEX Robotics World Championship presented by the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation, which unites top qualifying teams from local, state and international VEX Robotics events.Learn more at www.RoboticsEducation.org and www.robotevents.com.