By Erica Mather 29/04/2016

New Zealand competed at the VEX Robotics World Championships held in Louisville last week and are world champions for the eighth year running.

The VEX Worlds provides the opportunity for the hard work and dedication of a growing community of robotics teams to be recognised.  The competition requires students in small teams, with guidance from their teachers, to design and build innovative robots to solve a game challenge that is presented each year.  Teams compete in qualification matches, elimination matches, programming and driver-controlled skills challenges at local levels in order to qualify for the VEX Worlds.

The Auckland high school team from Lynfield College followed in Glenfield College’s footsteps by clinching the High School Excellence Award, making it the second year in row that New Zealand has returned with the title.  Lynfield College joined only eight other groups that performed at the top level.  Lynfield College also won the title of Robot Skills World Champions after gaining the highest score in a competition where the robot competes alone, firing balls into a net whilst under driver control for one minute.

Only nine teachers globally have joined the VEX Robotics STEM Hall of Fame as Teacher of the Year.  This year David Aston from Glenfield College was inducted to this club, joining Johan Potgieter who was one of the first inductees in recognition of starting VEX in New Zealand.  This award acknowledges teachers as role models for their “commitment, passion, achievement and impact on STEM education, aiding the development of the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians.”

The VEX Robotics competition is the largest and fastest growing robotics programme for both U.S and international students, with 1072 teams competing this year.  This competition has even been formally identified by The Guinness Book of World Records as the largest of its type in the world.


VEX Robotics World Championships photos. Flickr

Full lists of the New Zealand and Australian awards and sponsors are listed here.