SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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CORRECTING and REPLACING After Three Action-Packed Days, STEM Champions Are Crowned at the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship

The VEX IQ Challenge Middle School Teamwork Champion Alliance in the release dated April 28 should read: The VEX IQ Challenge Middle School Teamwork Champion Alliance included the DiscoBots – Xray from Houston, Texas and NEXT Robokids from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

The corrected release reads:

AFTER THREE ACTION-PACKED DAYS, STEM CHAMPIONS ARE CROWNED AT THE 2014 VEX ROBOTICS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

All Star Students from Canada, China, Mexico & the United States Emerge as World Champions of the Largest & Fastest Growing Robotics Program in the World

Last weekend, the Anaheim Convention Center was taken over by more than 15,000 participants from 27 countries, as 760 of the world’s best student-run robotics teams demonstrated their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills, going head to head with custom-built and programmed robots at the VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation. After a long and spirited series of matches, teams from Canada, China, Mexico and the United States ultimately came out on top, taking home the coveted Winning Alliance trophies for the VEX IQ Elementary & Middle School World Championship, the VEX Robotics Competition Middle & High School World Championship, and the VEX U World Championship competitions.

“This year, we surpassed 10,000 VEX Robotics teams, hailing from over 33 countries - 760 of which qualified to attend VEX Worlds. Each of these teams pushed themselves every day as they stretched and strengthened their STEM skills and learned to work as a team,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. “Not only does this weekend represent the exciting culmination of their enormous effort, but it also represents just the beginning of what these students can hope to accomplish as they continue with their STEM learning. We are impressed by all they have achieved, and excited about all the great opportunities opening up for them in their futures,” concluded Morrella.

Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, told the audience during the final ceremony, “On behalf of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, we are truly honored to serve as the presenting sponsor of this amazing competition. We are more than excited about what we have seen here. You represent our future. You represent the here and now. You are not only cool but you are making a difference for years to come.”

The global championship kicked-off on Wednesday and Thursday with initial qualification matches and skills challenges. By Friday morning, the excitement was palpable as thousands of young engineers filed into the VEX Dome to participate in the parade of nations, where students from all the teams proudly displayed their respective countries’ brilliant flags. Following the parade, it was time for the teams to jump into an afternoon full of intense back-to-back qualification matches. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk could be seen visiting with the teams before providing a few opening remarks later in the evening, during which he encouraged the students to stick with their passion for STEM as it will lead to a future full of career potential.

By Saturday, qualification rounds came to an end, the top performing teams went through the alliance selection process, and the division champion alliances collaborated to advance over their toughest competition yet in the finals. A dynamic light show and DJ experience added to the atmosphere during the finals, guiding teams and spectators through the award ceremonies.

Altogether, 760 VEX teams out of more than 10,000 teams worldwide qualified to compete in one of five challenges hosted by the REC Foundation this past weekend. The competitions included: VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School World Championship (ages 8-10), VEX IQ Challenge Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14) VRC Middle School World Championship (ages 11-14), VRC High School World Championship (ages 15-18) and VEX U (ages 18+).

The 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship Alliance Winners are as follows:

  • The VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School Teamwork Champion Alliance included the Mighty Mechs from Anaheim, California and the Pixelated Piranhas from Kokomo, Indiana
  • The VEX IQ Challenge Middle School Teamwork Champion Alliance included the DiscoBots – Xray from Houston, Texas and NEXT Robokids from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
  • The VRC Middle School World Champion Winning Alliance included three teams from China, the Branch of Beijing Chen Jinglun Middle School, the Fuzhou Shidai Middle School, and the Fuzhou Create Future Young Robot Engineer Club.
  • The VRC High School World Champion Winning Alliance included the Chingboticz Eh? from Ontario, Canada, the SPUR-FLYS from Van Nuys, California, and Lynfield College Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The VEX U World Champion was Team UTHH1 Mecánica from Huejutla de Reyes, Mexico

One team from each of the five divisions also received the Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics World Championship, given to the team with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics program. The TechnoBots from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico received the award for VEX IQ Elementary. The Reisenschein from McLean, Virginia received the award for VEX IQ Middle School. The Highlands Inter Robotics from Pearl City, Hawaii was presented with the award for VRC Middle School. The Haslett VEX Raptors MSU from East Lansing, Michigan received the award for VRC High School. The OYES Robotics from Auckland, New Zealand received the award for VEX U.

Several other technical and value-based awards were presented to teams throughout the event. Below is a list of the teams and individuals that were recognized for excelling in some of the top categories. For a complete list of award winners, including winners of the online challenges, visit http://www.robotevents.com/championship.

For those looking forward to getting a jump on next year’s robot designs, the 2014/2015 season games will be VEX Highrise (VEX IQ Challenge) and VEX Skyrise (VEX Robotics Competition).

Partners and sponsors of the 2014 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship includes Northrop Grumman Foundation, EMC, NASA, Chevron, Microchip, Texas Instruments and HEXBUG. In addition, VEX Robotics continually reaches students in the classroom through key partnerships with notable education-based organizations, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Technology Students Association (TSA).

About REC Foundation

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. Its goal is to provide these programs with services, solutions, and a community that allows them to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for students to succeed in the 21st Century. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work so that one day these programs become accessible to all students and all schools in all communities. For more information on REC Foundation, visit www.roboticseducation.org.

About VEX Robotics

VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities and robotics teams around the world. The company’s three product lines, VEX IQ, the VEX Robotics Design System and VEXpro, are backed by 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and designed to be affordable, accessible and scalable. The company also partners with the non-profit Robotics Education & Competition Foundation to support the world’s largest and fastest growing competitive robotics program for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. The VEX IQ Challenge, the VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U were designed to give a diverse group of students the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and share their passion for robotics with each other. In 2013-2014, over 10,100 teams from 33 countries have participated in over 750 competitions worldwide.

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