“The Makers” Vex Robotics Team

building a vex robot

What’s that about STEM clubs for tweens? Just days after the first meeting with my Food Science team for Science Olympiad I was making calls and sending emails to kick-off the Vex Robotics team I’m coaching.

Yes, it’s a bit much, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to start one (if not the) first robotics team in my neighborhood with almost no out-of-pocket expenses. The soon-to-be-renamed Makers team consists of four boys I know, one of whom is my son.

I kept it small and manageable knowing that we’re hightailing it to be ready for our first competition in just one month.

My son got a feel for Vex Sack Attack at OSMOCES. In addition, he and one of the other boys participated in a summer engineering enrichment program offered at a local school where they build robots with a Vex kit, or something very similar.

I’m an ideal facilitator for the group because they’re better at constructing the bot than I am. I mostly just answer questions and snap pictures.

Building a VEX robot

Case in point, another Vex package arrived today. It contained more wheels, two bumper switches, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds really exciting, but I have no idea how to use.

I think the boys are going to be excited to incorporate things like the “ultrasonic range finder” into their machine.

An ignorant coach makes for a wise team.

And lest I sound like I’m setting the kids up for failure, this year is all about the low hanging fruit. Our goal to experience the Vex competition and learn more about the league so we can kick butt next year.

In other news, I baked meringues for the Food Science kids to aid in our discussion of air as a leavening agent. At least I have a clue in that department.

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