VEX IQ Challenge


NASSP 2017-18

The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, provides elementary and middle school students with exciting, open-ended robotics and research project challenges that enhance their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills through hands-on, student-centered learning.

The VEX IQ Challenge fosters student development of the teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

NOTE: Student eligibility requirements are explained on page 7 of this season’s VEX IQ Challenge Game Manual in the definition of the term “Student”.


Ringmaster is played on a 4’x8’ rectangular field configured as seen above. Two robots compete in the Teamwork Challenge as an alliance in 60 second long teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points. Teams also compete in the Robot Skills Challenge where one robot takes the field to score as many points as possible. These matches consist of Driving Skills Matches, which will be entirely driver controlled, and Programming Skills Matches, which will be autonomous with limited human interaction.

The object of the game is to attain the highest score by Scoring colored Rings on the Floor Goal and on Posts, by having Uniform Posts, by Emptying Starting Pegs, and by Releasing the Bonus Tray.

Register a Team Official Q&A Find Events Official App VEX IQ Challenge Competition History

VEX IQ Forum Official VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster Game Manual VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster Manual Appendices

STEM Research Project Team Resources Design Notebook Important Dates


  • September 13 – Online Challenges open for submissions (9 a.m. Central).
  • November 1 – All official VEX IQ Challenge events are posted and open for registration.
  • December 31 – Last day to register and pay for teams to qualify for VEX Worlds Bonus Spots.
  • January 1, 2018 – All Skills Challenge qualifying events must be posted and open for registration.
  • January 10 – Online Challenges close (1 p.m. Central).
  • January 12 – Online Challenges voting open (1 p.m. Central).
  • January 22 – Online Challenges voting close (1 p.m. Central).
  • February 1 – Deadline for qualified teams to register and pay for VEX Worlds within their three-week window.
  • February 1 – Teams that qualify on or after February 1, 2018, will have one week to register and pay by credit card, check, or PO.
  • February 19 – Online Challenges Finalists announced (1 p.m. Central).
  • March 5 – Online Challenges Winners announced (9 a.m. Central).
  • March 11 – Last date an event qualifies teams for the worldwide top teams in Skills.
  • March 12 – VEX Worlds invitations extended to top Robot and Programming Skills teams.
  • March 11 – Last date to hold a VEX Worlds qualifying event.
  • April 29-May 1 – VEX IQ Challenge portion of the VEX Robotics World Championship will be held in Louisville, Kentucky.