Some of the brightest, tech-savvy kids in Indiana will be competing Saturday when the 4th annual VEX State Robotics Championship gets underway at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The event, sponsored by the TechPoint Foundation for Youth, will bring nearly 400 teams from Indiana elementary, middle and high schools to downtown Indianapolis. Through its State Robotics Initiative, TPF4Y says the Hoosier state has more schools participating in robotics programs than any other state.
Each team designs and builds a robot to play against other teams in an engineering challenge. Winners will advance to the world championship.
As part of the event, TechPoint will launch a fundraising campaign to get more VEX robotics teams at the high school level. The goal is to raise $250,000.
TPF4Y says costs high school robotics teams are nearly $1,000 to be part of the VEX competition – three times the cost of lower grades – due to the greater complexity of the robots. But those costs also limit some high schools from entering the competition.
“The students of these robotics teams will become the leaders of tomorrow. By helping provide a pathway from elementary to middle school and now high school, we are able to nurture the passion the students have for STEM,” said George Giltner, vice president of STEM education. “With the end goal of a robotics team in every school, the Indiana workforce of the future is looking bright.”
The organization says robotics teams reinforce the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math skills – which are crucial for jobs of the future.