ATU to Host State’s Top Robotics Teams

The Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation will conduct its 2018 Arkansas state championship at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville on Saturday, March 3.

The event is expected to include more than 100 teams with students from the elementary, middle school and high school levels competing in the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition.

Competition will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in Tucker Coliseum, 1604 Coliseum Drive in Russellville, and the W.O. Young Building Ballroom, 207 West O Street in Russellville.

Over the last year in Arkansas, the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition have grown from approximately 138 teams last season to include more than 275 teams this year.

“This will be the largest state tournament for VEX Robotics in the history of VEX in Arkansas,” said Sarah Burnett, K-12 math specialist in the ATU STEM Institute. “It is so exciting to be a part of this record-breaking year.”

The Arkansas VEX state competition is one of a series of VEX IQ Challenges and VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. The VEX Competitions are among the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world, now approaching 20,000 teams in over 45 countries participating in more than 1,500 events.

“Students who participate in competitive robotics establish a passion for science and technology early on, gaining collaboration and teamwork skills, while learning to communicate through a variety of challenging situations,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “The REC Foundation remains committed to offering the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition to provide a strong foundation students will build on to succeed in STEM fields and flourish in the digital economy of the future.”

The competition season culminates each spring with the VEX Robotics World Championship, which unites top qualifying teams from local, state and international VEX Robotics events to crown world champions.

Of the more than 100 teams that will compete at ATU on Saturday, 29 will be selected to advance to the 2018 VEX Robotics World Championship April 25-28 in Louisville, Ky.

The following 33 communities will be represented in the event at Arkansas Tech University: Alexander, Alma, Alpena, Bentonville, Bryant, Centerton, Crossett, Dardanelle, Fayetteville, Greenwood, Harrison, Hope, Jonesboro, Lake Village, Little Rock, Mabelvale, Magnolia, Manila, McGehee, Monticello, Morrilton, Nashville, Ola, Poyen, Russellville, Sherwood, Siloam Springs, Smackover, Springdale, Star City, Texarkana, Van Buren and Wynne.