The VEX Robotics World Championship took place in Louisville, Kentucky, April 20th - 23rd, with over 16,000 participants representing 37 different nations, all under one roof at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Interestingly enough, a Guinness World Records title was achieved at the 2016 VEX Worlds for the largest student-led robotics competition!
Three members of our TPF4Y team were able to volunteer during the event, giving us the opportunity to bring our experiences back to Indiana to implement as we expand the State Robotics Initiative.
There were several highlights of the event, including the parade of nations during the opening ceremony that showcased each of the countries participating in VEX Worlds. The robot competition matches themselves are always exciting and VEX Robotics and the REC Foundation also unveiled the brand new VEX and VEX IQ challenges and game pieces.
For our Indiana contingency, the real highlight was the induction of former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard into the STEM Hall of Fame, where he was recognized on stage for his commitment to robotics education for students through the City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Championship (IndyVRC). This was followed by the announcement of the Indiana State Robotics Initiative, which will scale Mayor Ballard's vision statewide through seed funding from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development with support from the Governor's office.
One of our Indiana teams, 323S Skyhawks from the Cornerstone Robotics Club in Indianapolis, took the middle school VEX IQ World Championship title! The team was paired with 10543C Bestic C from Shanghai, China, and the duo accomplished a perfect score of 173 during their final match, edging out their nearest competitor by 2 points. Check out their story in the news here.
Overall, we had a great trip and are already looking forward to returning next year!