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Love of robotics drives hundreds of young engineers to VEX IQ event

More than 700 Manatee County students spent their Valentines Day showcasing ‘Education with Innovation and Imagination’.


The 2023 VEX IQ Slapshot Competition was held at the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto.


So what’s VEX IQ? It’s a plastic snap-together construction system for elementary and middle school students.


It encourages STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning.

Tuesday’s competition featured robots, which are designed and created by VEX Teams in our schools.


A walk through the crowd was exciting. Students, educators, families and volunteers filled the large venue.


They were carefully carrying robots, scarfing down a snack before the next big match, stretching their arms high in the air to film video with their cell phones, and carefully monitoring the qualification clock ticking down to zero.  


Young engineers earn points by knocking orange disks into various goal zones.

Teams also sat through an interview and answered questions, such as: “What part of your robot are you most proud of, and why?”


They’re also asked if their game strategy was effective, who programmed their robots, and how they overcame challenges throughout the building process.

An engineering notebook, as well as their conduct during the competition, will also play a factor in which teams win awards.


We’ll bring you the results as soon as they’re available.

Congratulations to the participants – and to the Career & Technical Education team for hosting a successful event!

You can view more photos on our #ManateeSchoolsGoodNews Facebook page.