Frequently asked questions
What does the State Robotics Grant include?
Awardees of the grant will receive the following:
- One robotics professional development training session for awarded educators
- VEX IQ Curriculum
- Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classroom activities, including additional VEX IQ parts
- (1) VEX IQ Super Kit
- (1) VEX IQ Competition Add-On Kit
- Registration for one elementary VEX IQ Challenge team
What is VEX IQ?
VEX IQ is an exciting robotics platform that transforms science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning for young students. Participants snap together VEX IQ parts and build a simple yet powerful robot to explore open-ended challenges, which are designed to enhance their STEM skills. Teams will love driving their robots in 60-second Teamwork Challenge matches and testing their skills individually during two optional 60-second Robot and Programming Challenges.
Who can apply?
Any elementary educator who currently works for any Indiana elementary school (grades 1st - 5th) will be eligible for the State Robotics Grant. Priority will be given to schools that do not currently have a VEX IQ robotics team. Please note: only one grant will be awarded per eligible elementary school.
What are the terms and conditions for the State Robotics Grant?
All applicants should review the Terms and Conditions before applying for the grant.
What questions will be asked on the grant?
Applicants should be prepared to answer the questions in the Proposal Summary of the grant.
Will I get training?
Yes! We want to make sure EVERY educator is comfortable with the robotics kit, robotics team management, and competition. We will be hosting required professional development training sessions for educators who are awarded the grant. In addition to learning the skills needed to start a robotics team, you will also receive training on Project Lead The Way activities that you can integrate into the classroom.
What additional expenses can I anticipate?
Between the VEX IQ Super Kit, VEX Add-on Kit and Project Lead The Way classroom activity parts, your team will be equipped with enough to get started and become competitive. An additional optional item to consider is a portable game field, which can be reused each season for all of the game challenges. A full sized 4’ x 8’ field costs $199.99; this field can disassemble and stored easily. Game elements for the new robot game each season are available for $99.99. For more VEX IQ product details, visit: www.vexrobotics.com/vexiq/products.
Teams will also need to participate in at least one competition which costs between $25-35 and is not covered by the grant. Some teams may want to consider purchasing team t-shirts, snacks during meetings, and travel arrangements to local and regional competitions. Teams should also budget for their team registration during the 2nd year of the grant as well of $150 which is not covered by the grant. TPY will share various grant opportunities with teams to help cover this cost. Many team seek out local companies who are willing to sponsor the team and cover the cost of these items.
How much after school time will coaching a team involve?
Create a schedule that best meets your team’s availability, needs, objectives, and resources. For younger students, it may be helpful to limit meeting length to no more than two hours once a week. As competitions approach, your team may decide to meet more frequently in order to better prepare for their participation in the VEX IQ Challenge. The average team spends around 1-2 hours per week for 6-12 weeks to build their robot. Teachers could even use classroom time to build their robot.
When are competitions?
Local and regional competitions in Indiana typically start in October and go through February. The Indiana state competition will be in either February or March. The world championship is in April and held in Louisville, KY.
Will my team have to attend a robotics competition?
Yes, each team is expected to attend at least one local event. You and your students will have so much fun that you will want to compete as much as you can. Read about a rookie VEX IQ team's first robotics competition on our blog!
How much are competitions?
Each competition ranges from $25-$35 dollars per team.
What is the size of a team? How many students?
There is no limit on team size, although at least three members are strongly encouraged. For a teacher, a classroom can be a team. However, a typical team size ranges from 3-12 students with an ideal ratio of 6-8 students per robotics kit.
Can I have additional VEX IQ teams?
Yes! You can add additional teams at your school for an extra $100 registration fee, plus you will need an additional robotics kit, which will not be covered by the grant.
Does a team need access to computers? Will a Tablet, Chrome Book or iPad work?
It is recommended that a team have access to a computer with an internet connection in order to utilize the free online curriculum and programming resources. Your robot can move and operate without programming; however, students will want to learn how to program their robots as their design becomes more advanced. Tablets, Chromebooks, and iPads will work for gathering resources; however, you will not be able to program your robot without a Windows or Mac machine.
Will software be provided?
VEX IQ provides free graphical programming software called Modkit which allows for custom robot commands, sensor interactions and more. Educators will be offered training on how to use the software after the professional development. Also there are resources available to help both educators and students learn how to use the software.
What type of work area do I need?
A classroom is a perfect size for your team to work. If your team decides to purchase a full sized 4’x8’ field you can easily disassemble the field into smaller easy-to-store sections.
Where can I get more information about the Game Challenge?
Updated game challenge information can be found here: www.vexrobotics.com/vexiq/competition/competition-resources.
Are there resources available to use for the students?
VEX IQ provides a lot of free resources for both educators and students which can be found here: www.vexrobotics.com/vexiq/education.
Who do I contact If I have additional questions?
You can contact us at RobotGrant@techpointyouth.org.