Students face off at VEX robotics tournament

Students face off using their robotics skills at a VEX robotics competiton last weekend in Kearney, Nebraska. | Contributed photo

Kearney High School held a VEX robotics local tournament on Saturday at Sunrise Middle School in Kearney, Nebraska, in which 30 area public school teams participated.

Highlighting student-created robots, the free public event, hosted by the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), publicized the VEX Robotics Program, a competitive academic activity designed to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The VEX Robotics Design System is a kit intended to introduce students, as well as adults, to the world of robotics.

Teams compete from November through February to vie for a spot at state, national and world competitions. They analyze, design, build, program and test their robots in relation to a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test on the playing field as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communication and problem solving.

“In addition to just having a great time and building amazing robots, this program helps students learn and understand the engineering, technical and programming skills needed in building a robot, as well as develop teamwork skills, leadership and sportsmanship,” NPPD Outreach Programs Specialist Kim Liebig said.

This year’s challenge, VEX Skyrise, was played on a 12-foot-by-12-foot field. During the season, teams develop new skills in response to the challenges and obstacles that stand before them. Apart from champion and finalist spots, special awards were presented in categories such as excellence, programming skills, robot skills, design and sportsmanship.