QE’s thriving VEX Robotics clubs provide opportunities for boys to get to grips with high technology, put their skills to the test in competitions against other schools – and have a great deal of fun, too.
The clubs have proved both popular and successful from the start: QE teams reached the World Championship in the US at their very first attempt in both the junior category for Years 8 and 9, known as IQ, and the senior competition, EDR.
In May 2018 our boys were named VEX IQ World Champions, winning the overall Excellence Award at what is officially the world’s largest robotics competition.
At the clubs, boys learn the basic principles of robotics through design-and-make challenges. They thereby develop skills and knowledge in all four of the STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
VEX IQ involves a snap-together robotics system that combines advanced concepts into an accessible package, while the EDR system has elements designed to fit each other easily, thus enabling seamless integration.
The competitions typically feature a series of games in which teams’ robots are given points for accomplishing tasks such as stacking items, scoring goals and parking successfully. Teams are required to collaborate, as well as compete against others.
A number of regional events are held and then, if successful, teams go on to national finals and, ultimately, the World Championship, where the very best from almost 8,500 teams worldwide battle it out. There is a variety of prizes at each level, including awards for design, teamwork and all-round excellence.
In the summer of 2019 a new dedicated robotics room was created to support further opportunities for boys looking to participate and compete in VEX robotics. This enabled an expansion in the number of teams for the 2019/20 season to ten.