The VEX curriculum inspires students and instills proper engineering practices from an early age through the fun and excitement of competitive robotics. VEX provides:
- Affordable hands-on STEM learning
- Accessible elementary-middle-high school curriculum
- Exciting competitions
- Challenges students in design/build/programming/documentation
The low cost of VEX robotics allows for smaller teams, which allows more students to be directly involved with the robot. The low cost coupled with competition rules which ensure a level playing field allows even new teams a chance to compete and be successful. There are a wide range of options for how teams are organized, from a team integrated into the school curriculum, to an after-school club, to an independent team that isn’t affiliated at all with a particular school or school district. There are numerous local competitions across the Commonwealth which give teams plenty of opportunities to compete. RVA Robotics hosts multiple events in the greater Richmond area and central Virginia and is working on hosting even more.
The VEX system allows students to progress and build on their experience as they learn more and get older. From elementary school to college, VEX has a program to grow and develop our future STEM workforce and leaders. VEX is the fastest growing educational robotics system in the world for a reason!
Start a Team
VEX IQ Challenge (VIQC) competitions are for students in elementary or middle school, while VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) competitions are for middle school and high school students. In Virginia, the State Championship is divided by age group into four championship tournaments: Elementary School VIQC, Middle School VIQC, Middle School VRC, and High School VRC. Local/regional competitions may either be mixed age groups, or single age group, at the discretion of the event partner.
So, if your students are elementary or high school, it’s easy which to pick which system to use. If your team is all middle school students, then it’s a little more difficult to decide, and will depend on the students’ experience, interest, and commitment levels as well as budget resources. VEX VRC will take more time, more dedication, and more money than VEX IQ. For a school-based team that, by definition, will always be middle schoolers, you really can’t go wrong with VEX IQ. It will be easy and relatively cheap to maintain, and – due to its simplicity – can involve a greater number and range of students. Since no modifications to the parts are allowed, annual expenses are kept to a minimum.
If your students are just starting out with educational robots, we highly recommend VEX IQ, as it is easier to learn, has lower overall and recurring costs, and requires less dedicated space. If most of your students already have considerable experience with educational robots or are almost aging out of VEX IQ, then you will probably want to jump straight into VEX VRC.
VEX Robotics Platform Comparison
|VEX IQ||VEX VRC|
|Grade level||Elementary, Middle||Middle, High|
|Minimum number of students per team||2||1|
|Recommended number of students per team||4||4 to 6|
|Time commitment||Low to Medium||Medium to High|
|Experience required||None||Low to Medium|
|Space requirements||None to Low||Low to Medium|
Be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on starting a VEX IQ or VRC team.