Over the weekend, DTP CEO Jonathan Kendrick participated as a judge in the Ola VEX Spooktacular event. VEX is a robotics competition in which teams use metal components, motors, sensors, and programming in a game-based engineering challenge. The goal of VEX is “to create engaging, affordable, and powerful solutions that immerse students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) through the excitement of building and programming robots.” This event, held at Ola High School, was organized by Christie Schmitt, Engineering Instructor, and brought together over 25 talented high school teams.
Jonathan, along with ID Miller from Medline and Joe Rostron from Southern States, LLC, served as judges, handing out the Excellence, Design, and Judges Awards. As competition judges, they evaluated the teams’ design notebooks, analyzed the performance of the robots, and interviewed the teams.
Dunwoody High School took the Competition Champions Award by winning the game. For full details on gameplay, visit https://www.vexrobotics.com/vexedr/competition/vrc-current-game. Dunwoody also won the Excellence Award, the highest honor at the event. Their team showed true teamwork by playing off one another’s strengths, and a standout use of advanced sensors and programming. Dunwoody’s team also did social outreach by helping schools in Nicaragua start VEX programs, with one of their team members traveling there to deliver materials.
The VEX platform was designed to encourage creativity in problem-solving and to help fill the STEM void in classrooms. VEX classes are hands-on, project-based, and “designed to provide a framework for teaching everything from engineering and computer science to life skills like teamwork, project management, and critical thinking.” Currently, VEX competitions are held annually in all 50 U.S. states, and over 40 countries, for students of all ages, like Jonathan’s son, Gavin, a 3rd grader in the program. STEM jobs are added to the workforce each day, and VEX is helping prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s problem-solving leaders.