VEX IQ is a robotics platform that provides a great entry point to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. Parts include snap-together structural components, motors with built-in encoders, sensors, a robot brain, and more. No tools are required to get started.
Students have the opportunity to take part in the worldwide VEX IQ Challenge for competitive play. The challenge is made up of several main components that revolve around a different game each year.
The teamwork challenge is where two teams simultaneously work together to score points playing each year's game. The robot skills challenge has one team working alone to score. Both of these portions of the competition have students operating their robots with a controller.
The programming challenge involves students programming their robot to run by itself (autonomously.) Another aspect of competition is the STEM research project. Students must become "science sleuths" and look for answers to their own questions on an overall topic that changes each year.
In addition to all of this, students must design, build, and learn to drive their robots. The entire process is led by students and documented in engineering notebooks.
This year the challenge is called Ringmaster. Points are scored by placing rings in the scoring zone, stacking them on poles, removing them from starting pegs, and releasing the bonus tray.