The largest <a href=”http://www.vexrobotics.com/” target=”_blank”>VEX Robotics</a> competition in the State of Utah will take place at the Logan campus of the <a href=”http://www.batc.edu/” target=”_blank”>Bridgerland Applied Technology College</a> (BATC) on Friday, Jan. 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With as many as 20 elementary school teams and 45 high school teams being represented, each team will compete with a custom-made, student-built robot, entering back-to-back matches requiring their robots to perform specified skills. While VEX Robotics competitions take place internationally, Friday’s event is for Utah students only.
“I haven’t yet received a list of all the schools involved,” said Adrienne O’Brien, BATC’s director of marketing and promotions, “but they are coming from all parts of Utah, top to bottom.”
Considered the world’s largest and fastest growing robotics program for middle school and high school students, VEX Robotics currently has more than 16,000 registered teams in 40 countries. Competitions are game-based engineering challenges that use classroom Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (<a href=”https://www.ed.gov/stem” target=”_blank”>STEM</a>) concepts to help students develop life skills like teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and communication. More than 1,350 tournaments take place each year at regional, state and national levels. Every April, qualifying teams gather to compete in the prestigious VEX Robotics World Championship. The 2017 tournament will take place April 19-25, in Louisville, Kentucky.
“We are so excited to have the competition at BATC to help bring students together to share their passion for robotics,” said O’Brien. “This is an exciting field with high demand for those with an education in robotics and automation. We hope that this competition will inspire future students to consider a robotics and automation career.”
To facilitate this type of career development, the BATC offers a robotics specialization within its automated manufacturing department. The program is growing quickly and has become one of the BATC’s most popular career paths. Laura Parrish, a student success advisor, has the opportunity to introduce new students to the program.
“I get the privilege to take them on tours, show them the types of robots they’ll be introduced to and give them the essentials,” she said. “I love being able to get them in the right place and help them get started.”
Parrish notes that high-tech employers in the area often send employees to receive continuing education in the robotics program, working as interns to sharpen their skills with new technology.
More information about Friday’s VEX tournament is available by emailing Brad Sorenson, community outreach coordinator, at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. He can be reached by phone at (435) 750-3276.