Innovation First Launches Vex Worldwide Robotics Championship

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Innovation First has launched a new worldwide robotics competition. Dubbed the Vex Robotics World Championship competition, the event will pit 1,000 high school students against one another in local and state competitions that will culminate in a world championship event.

The state and local competitions will use a "Bridge Battle" system developed by Innovation First at events held at California State University, Northridge May 2-3, 2008. Winning teams from the Vex Robotics Bridge Battle competitions will then advance to the world championship, facing one another, along with 30 winning teams from the Asian Robotics League Bridge Battle competition.

"The Bridge Battle game provides students with a fun and challenging robotics competition that is easily accessible and extremely affordable to all schools," said Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition at Innovation First. "Many groups in the [United States], Canada, Asia, Europe, and South America have contacted us about organizing quality Vex Robotics based competitions for their local schools and students. The demand for a Vex Robotics World Championship event was very clear and we are excited to support an event that will allow students to compete with teams from all over the world and test their robotics engineering skills."

Bridge Battle is played on a 12'x12' square field with two teams (red and blue) on each side. Teams maneuver their robots to place tennis balls in in specified sections of the bridge platform.

"Vex Robotics Competitions have given students a hands-on tool to enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and learn critical skills such as teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, professionalism, and problem-solving," said Tarek Shraibati, CSU Northridge professor and robotics competition committee member, in a statement released Wednesday. "Winning teams from various Vex programs around the country, and the world, deserve the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with each other. California State University, Northridge decided to help organize and run a Vex World Championship event that would invite all the top teams from various competitions that use Vex Robotics."

Northridge, along with software developer Autodesk, are sponsoring the event with Innovation First. Northridge is hosting it, while Autodesk is providing grants to participating teams to reduce the entry fee from $300 to $100.

Further information on the competition (and other robotics competitions) can be found at the links below.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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