The largest robotics state championship in the country took place on Saturday, March 10th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, hosted by TechPoint Foundation for Youth's State Robotics Initiative (SRI). Almost 300 Indiana elementary, middle, and high school teams spent the day competing for the opportunity to advance to this year's VEX Robotics World Competition being held in Louisville, Kentucky, at the end of April.
In addition to the nearly 1,900 robotics matches occurring on 50 different robotics fields throughout the day, an interactive STEM Fair took place that allowed students to explore STEM activities facilitated by corporate partners and institutes of higher education. 20 booths inspired more than 400 students through hands-on activities - and it was free to participate.
Thanks to top level sponsors Guggenheim Life and Annuity, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Roche Diagnostics, and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation as well as additional supporting sponsors, the event was a huge success with more than 10,000 people in attendance.
"This event was truly a milestone in our efforts with the State Robotics Initiative, and we were absolutely thrilled to put on a great event celebrating the success of Indiana robotics students," said State Director of Robotics, George Giltner, "With that being said, our work with the SRI will not be complete until every student in Indiana has access to a robotics program. We are looking forward to further expanding the impact of the initiative in the coming year."
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, who opened the event at the welcoming ceremony, proclaimed March 10th as Indiana VEX Robotics State Championship Day, in celebration of the event as well as the overall 225% increase in VEX Robotics teams the state has seen over the past two years, which is due in large part to the SRI.
The SRI grant program has helped to start more than 500 VEX IQ elementary school teams since 2016 and will be opening the grant to eligible Indiana middle schools in April, with plans to start another 350 teams.
Due to the unprecedented growth of VEX IQ teams in Indiana, the state was awarded 95 qualifying spots for the 2018 World Competition - more than any state in the U.S. The 95 Indiana teams competing at Worlds will be matched up against 1,576 teams from over 30 countries in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 25th - May 1st.
Here is a highlight video from the State Championship!
Looking for pictures of your team from the event? Click here to look through all of our photos on Flickr and check out a sampling of pictures from the event below!
State Championship Award winners
The following awards qualify teams for Worlds.