SMC Partners with VEX Robotics for national tournament

SMC Australia | New Zealand

Thursday, 04 March, 2021


SMC Partners with VEX Robotics for national tournament

VEX Robotics Australian State Championship Tournaments will take place in across Adelaide, Sydney and Victoria for in-person events and an online Live Remote Tournament. Adelaide is first to kick off in Australia on 6 March 2021. The new format is to accommodate COVID-19 and limit travel and numbers while Australia rolls out its vaccine, while also giving give all VEX Robotics participating teams an equal chance to qualify for VEX Worlds and the best possible event experience. The competition will once again bring STEM skills to life amongst children aged from Grade 3 to 12.

The Adelaide event kicks off at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Doors will open to the public from 8:00 am and will feature interactive STEM exhibitions on-site for visitors to enjoy. Students, families and all attendees will have the opportunity to see the different pathways and opportunities available to them in the world of STEM beyond school-aged robotics.

In New Zealand, Kiwibots (The New Zealand Robotics Charitable Trust) will present the 2021 New Zealand VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) National Championships in partnership with the REC Foundation, VEX Robotics and Auckland Unlimited. This particular event’s date remains to be confirmed, in line with New Zealand’s lockdown regulations.

Nurturing bright minds

Nicole Champagne, Sales Director Australia and New Zealand for VEX Robotics, said that their company envisions a world where every student can be inspired by the excitement of hands-on, minds-on STEM learning and the feeling of creating something with technology.

“Students thrive with hands-on STEM experiences and we love to see this come to life with competitive robotics,” she said. “They are learning the most important skills across the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which will provide them the problem-solving skills for our future workforce. We are passionate about VEX Robotics in the classroom but know the best opportunity to learn soft skills such as collaboration, communication, time management, problem solving, iteration and developing computational thinking come from competitive robotics.”

National Manager of Kiwibots in New Zealand, Janet Van, said: “For many of these students, their future careers may not even exist yet. Programs and competitions like these ensure we futureproof all young kids with the skills that will mean they are prepared for the technological world that awaits them.”

She believes it’s important that these programs are accessible to kids of all backgrounds and ages, so that not only are our future workforces prepared with the right skills, they will also better reflect the societies that they serve.

SMC Corporation's role

Recognising the importance of STEM in today’s landscape, SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand will once again come on board as a judge and sponsor at this year’s event.

“SMC has worked with VEX in the past and their work continues to impress us,” said Shyam Suresh, Branch Manager for SMC New Zealand. “They nurture and engage with students who will add great value in our field in the years to come. We are excited to be part of the judging panel at this prestigious event.

“More than ever before, our industry needs upcoming STEM graduates and SMC is here to pave the way for aspiring engineers across New Zealand and Australia.”

More about the VEX Robotics National Tournament

VEX is an internationally acclaimed, first-of-its-kind robotics competition. These competitions provide a space for students to develop and showcase industry-relevant skills, including engineering design, teamwork, trial and error, hands-on prototyping, as well as digital and technical literacy.

More than just a ‘battle of the brains’, the competition rewards adaptability, resilience and sportsmanship, as well as technical skill. The competition celebrates STEM education and exposes students to future employment opportunities.

In terms of the competition mechanics, students will team up to program, design and build a robot to work together collaboratively scoring points in the VEX IQ Competition and compete with an alliance against another alliance in the VEX Robotics Competition. The winners will then go on to compete in VEX Worlds — this year using a Live Remote Tournament platform providing the best robotics teams around the globe a chance to compete together in May 2021 with final dates to be confirmed.

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