The largest VEX Robotics state championship ever hosted in Michigan is set for Feb. 21 at Michigan State University's Jenison Field House.
Seventy-four teams from across Michigan, consisting of 48 high school and 26 middle school teams, will compete at the state games from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The young robotics masters will challenge each other for top state honors and the right to represent Michigan in the 2016 VEX Robotics World Games in Louisville, Kentucky, April 20-23.
"VEX Robotics challenges our state's youngest aspiring engineers and designers, and draws them into science, technology, engineering and mathematics in fun, interesting and competitive ways,” said Drew Kim, assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship and K-12 outreach in MSU's College of Engineering.
MSU is the largest university sponsor of VEX Robotics in Michigan with 30 teams around the state, many of them from underrepresented schools. MSU engineering students volunteer to help VEX team members learn the principles of engineering as they design and build their robots for competition.
This year's game, “Nothing But Net,” is played by two competing alliances on a 12-foot by 12-foot square field. Teams gain points by using their innovative robots to shoot rubber foam balls into low and high baskets. Matches include both free play by the robots, and almost two minutes of driver-controlled action.
“The tournaments around Michigan, and the championship games here at MSU, have a tremendous impact on recruiting future engineers by encouraging and recognizing their talents in the technical fields,” said Kim.
The event is free and open to the public.