At iTECH, we use VEX EDR Robotics Competitions as a way of stimulating students’ interest in hands-on learning skills. VEX EDR is a robotics competition for high school students. Aluminum and steel parts are used to build robots using the VEX EDR Design System. In addition, students take advantage of VEX’s Robot C to enhance their programming skills. At tournaments, teams participate in qualifying matches where two teams vs two teams participate. In the Elimination Rounds, alliances of three teams are selected by the top-seeded teams, and the alliance who wins the finals is the winner of the tournament.
We also use SECME. SECME is a strategic alliance to renew and strengthen the professional capacity of K-12 educators, motivate and mentor students, and empower parents so that all students can learn and achieve at higher levels. STEM is a Nationwide initiative which focuses on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Founded in 1975 as The Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering, SECME is an alliance of K-12 educators, universities and industry/government partners committed to engaging and preparing more minorities and girls for college and careers in STEM. The SECME model includes research-based strategies to address the barriers to STEM majors and careers for minorities and girls. These include: STEM professional development and classroom resources for teachers; University partners committed to supporting teachers, early engagement of K-12 students and facilitating career-relevant STEM competitions; University students and STEM industry mentors and coaches supporting K-12 competition and project teams.