Just last week, my school hosted the regular Central Robotics Scrimmages, where students compete in the VEX IQ Challenge or the VEX Robotics Competition. This year the VIQC is called Next Level and the 2 teams work together cooperatively during the one minute match to move, score and stack as many hubs as possible. In Turning Point, this season’s VRC, the red alliance of two teams, takes on the blue alliance of another two teams, to turn flags and caps, climb on platforms and score the caps on poles, during 2 minute matches, that start with 15 second autonomous period.
One of my favourite aspects of the scrimmages is the collaborative environment, where students, from different teams, schools and competitions, talk to each other, share ideas, problems, resources and generally help each other. This creates a truly amazing community environment that enhances, play, creativity, cooperation; all the key elements of a stimulating learning environment.
Once a year the regional robocup competition is held once a year and this year it was held at the same venue, with two schools participating in the robocup rescue challenge. One of the schools also participates in VIQC, while the other only does the robocup.
Twenty teams took part in the VEX IQC, 11 in VEX RC, 5 in Robocup Rescue and one in Robocup Theatre. It soon became very noticeable, that the VEX competitors were very interested in checking out the Robocup competition even though it was in the back corner of the venue. The Robocup contestants not involved in the VIQC, had to walk through the VEX competition and pit areas, did not stop to see what was going on. They seemed to lack curiosity to investigate this other branch of robotics, or the ability to talk to other students, competing in similar technological challenges.
The Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, deserves great praise and acknowledgement, for the creation of this collaborative, yet competitive learning environment. Thank you RECF, VEX, Kiwibots, Central Robotics, and all the schools, teachers, volunteers, parents and students for making VEX IQ and VEX Robotics Competitions an amazing experience to be involved in.