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GREENVILLE, TX – September 30, 2015 – The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation announced partnerships with two school districts in Florida and Kentucky to bring the VEX IQ Challenge and VEX Robotics Competition to students and teachers at more than 170 schools. In Florida, the REC Foundation partnered with Alachua County Public Schools to bring the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition to all 36 schools in the district by the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Likewise, in Kentucky, Jefferson County Public Schools will offer the VEX Robotics program to educators and students at 30 schools each year, reaching all 135 schools with grants and support from NASA by 2019.
“The REC Foundation applauds the innovative approach of these school districts and we are proud to support their work. Including VEX Robotics in the classroom ensures that students have an opportunity to learn about STEM concepts and apply that knowledge to their competition experience,” said Jason Morrella, president of the REC Foundation. “Taken together, this approach provides a unique real-world experience that students value and will continue to benefit from throughout their lives.”
Dr. Owen Roberts, the Superintendent of Schools in Alachua County in Florida, set a five-year STEAM initiative, part of which commits to offering robotics to students across the district. The initiative kicked off this fall with 24 Alachua County teachers attending a training workshop offered by the REC Foundation so that they may bring the program to students in their classrooms this fall.
In Louisville, Kentucky, Jefferson County Public Schools received grants through the REC Foundation from NASA which will provide robotics kits, teacher training and workshops, and technical assistance. The first training took place August 3-5, 2015 at the Jaegar Education Center. On the final day of training, teachers and students shared what they learned by navigating their robots through the game challenge.
The REC Foundation intends to expand on its work with school districts by offering grant opportunities to support teacher training and provide robotics materials. The grants are intended to support school districts that are committed to providing hands-on robotics experience to every student and to integrate robotics curriculum in the classroom.
The REC Foundation currently supports well over 12,000 teams in 33 countries around the world. The program encourages students to design, build and program a robot that can solve an annual game challenge. The 2015-16 season is now open with the VEX IQ Challenge game Bank Shot and the VEX Robotics Competition game Nothing But Net. The new games were announced at VEX Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky on April 17, 2015. For more information about the REC Foundation, the VEX IQ Challenge, and the VEX Robotics Competition, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.
About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work.