Today on WJON I was joined by St. Cloud Apollo and North Junior High Vex Robotics coach Sara Laudenbach.  Teams from Apollo, Tech and North will participate in the state event Friday and Saturday at Rivers Edge Convention Center in the state tournament.  Laudenbach says they have 6th through 12th grade students involved in this event with the Middle School age kids participating Friday and the older students Saturday.  Students start preparations in September with the season culminating with the state tournament this weekend and World event to follow for those who qualify.


Students with the help of coaches create and program the robots to participate in games against other competitors.  32 teams will participate in the middle school tournament and 32 teams in the high school tournament this weekend.  Competitions this year start at 9 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday with limited spectators to friends and family.  Sara says normally more spectators are allowed but not this season due to the pandemic.  Laudenbach says both boys and girls participate on the Robotics team.  Teams that qualify participate in the World competition in May.  The World event will be virtual this year but normally is held in Texas.

Students interested in Vex Robotics can start in 5th grade with competitions starting in 6th grade.  Laudenbach says students learn the basics from her and often times learn a lot on their own working with the robots.  Laudenbach says there is a shortage of people going into these types of careers and many of these students can go on work in industries that require technical skills and some aspire to become engineers.

If you are interested watching the competition tune in to the live web stream here.

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