VEX IQ playing field

Wallace State Community College is hosting a VEX IQ Lion’s Pride Robotics Tournament at Traditions Bank Arena inside Tom Drake Coliseum on Saturday, Jan. 8, beginning at 8 a.m. It’s the first of three tournaments scheduled on campus this semester.

The VEX IQ Robotics Tournament, administered by the Wallace State Computer Science STEM Club, will feature elementary and middle school robotics students and teams and is expected to attract approximately 300 individuals to campus according to event organizer and Wallace State computer science instructor Terry Ayers.

Schools scheduled to participate in the tournament include Oak Mountain Middle, Ivalee Elementary School (Attalla), Alexandria Elementary School, Corner Middle School, Bankhead Middle School (Cordova), Echols Middle School (Northport), Hartselle Intermediate School, North Alabama Cyber Institute (Cullman), Parrish Elementary, Liberty Middle School (Madison) and Etowah Middle School, among others.

Final matches are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 4 p.m.

Competitions are also scheduled for Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 at Wallace State.

The Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation’s mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), by engaging students in hands-on, affordable and sustainable robotics engineering programs 

VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed to provide opportunities to students in elementary and early middle school. The VEX IQ competition allows students to build and program robots, encouraging teamwork, problem solving and leadership as teams construct and operate their robots.

In addition to the game competition, teams are judged on items like robot design, programming and engineering notebook as part as their overall scores.

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