I had the privilege of representing EMC at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, KY this past week. It was an awesome experience. Here's a little background before I share some of the excitement . . .
- EMC has been a supporter of VEX for years. Most notably, we donate robot kits to schools, especially where there isn't already a program in place. This includes Utah, Massachusetts, North Carolina and many other states, not to mention countries.
- VEX Robotics is a for-profit company owned by Innovation First International. We love the VEX platform because it is so affordable and accessible. A starter kit can be purchased for less than $500.
- REC (Robotics Education & Competition) Foundation is a non-profit entity which promotes STEM education, mostly through robotics. They organize many different events, the largest of which is VEX Worlds.
Robotics is such a great way to promote STEM education because it is so multi-disciplinary. It involves software, hardware, mechanical engineering, system design, testing, communication, marketing, team work, project management, competition, strategy and more! At the world championships there were thousands of kids from dozens of countries. Teams compete in pairs and sometimes don't even speak the same language! It was thrilling to watch the kids collaborating, creating, competing and just having fun. Every team I talked to was engaged and excited.
|EMC-sponsored Team Chile during the Parade of Nations opening ceremony|
|Outside of the Louisville, KY Expo Center|
|VEX IQ competition field|
|Team Chile & their EMC-sponsored robot|
|Cool license plate on the Team Chile robot - Play on Spanish work for "success" and the "ito" suffix as a term of endearment|
|Practice fields for the larger VEX robots|
|The other, younger team from Chile|
|Team from Davis High School in Utah|
|Robot from Utah State University|
|One of many giant, overhead scoreboards|
|Partner Hall of Fame - EMC logo lower left corner|
|A virtual sea of teams from different states and countries|
|Selfie with EMC-sponsored North Carolina team|
|Another team from North Carolina|
|So cool to see the EMC logo on competition fields and elsewhere|
|One of the EMC-sponsored teams in action on the competition field|