Michigan VEX Robotics State Championship coming to MSU

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February 25, 2014

The state championship for VEX Robotics will pit some of Michigan’s youngest robotic masters against each other on Sunday, March 2, at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Fifty VEX Robotics teams from Belding, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, DeWitt, Grandville, Haslett, Lansing, Pontiac, Traverse City, Utica, Webberville, and other Michigan cities will compete at the state challenge tournament that runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Jenison Field House on the MSU campus.

Winners vie for the right to advance to the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship in April in Anaheim, Calif.

“This state tournament challenges these young engineers and designers to strengthen their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),” said Drew Kim, assistant to the dean for recruitment, scholarship and K-12 outreach in MSU's College of Engineering. “The championship also showcases the MSU campus to this talented generation of students preparing for technical fields.”

Fifty VEX teams from around the state have qualified for state finals.Using the VEX Robotics Design System, students build innovative robots and then compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field. The VEX Robotics Competition is designed to inspire students to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

"The VEX Robotics program helps middle and high school students learn the basics of engineering and how to work together as a team,” explained Bob Watson, K-12 outreach/robotics coordinator for MSU’s College of Engineering. “It is a direct response to our country’s need for constantly improving innovations."

Students compete in multiple tournaments on their way to the state finals, providing opportunities for the teams to integrate changes and improve their troubleshooting skills.

Michigan State University is the largest university sponsor of VEX Robotics in Michigan. MSU sponsors 34 teams from around the state, many of them from underrepresented schools, Watson explained. MSU students help VEX team members learn the principles of engineering as they design and build their robots for competition. Eleven of the MSU-sponsored teams qualified for the state tournament this year.Trophies await middle and high school students in the Michigan VEX Robotics State Championship games March 2 at MSU.

Winners from the four top team alliances, along with the Excellence and Design Award winners, will receive an invitation to the VEX World Championship in Anaheim, Calif., April 23-26.