Online Challenges

TI Reverse Engineering Online Challenge


VEX Robotics competitors design and create complex machines and elaborate code, but don’t usually get to see the technology and components inside the electronics they use in the classroom and competitions. Entries for this challenge will explore the inner workings of an electronic device at a part-by-part level.

Choose an electronic device, carefully deconstruct it, and catalog the parts you find inside. As you go, document your process and findings with text and images. Conduct online research on the components you discover, and try to identify their roles within the electronic system. Your submission will tell us what you learned by taking a closer look inside and reverse engineering a complex electronic device.

Enter by January 18, 2022

Challenge Requirements
Judging Criteria
Upload Instructions


Teams must be part of a registered VEX IQ, VRC, or VEX U team for the current season.

  • Only one entry per team is permitted. However, each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit one entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries. Entries must vary in content and presentation to be considered separate entries. 
  • Entries submitted in previous years’ Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.


1st: $500 VEX Robotics gift certificate and automatic team qualification for this season's VEX Robotics World Championship

4 Finalists: $100 VEX Robotics gift certificate

Finalists and winners will be selected at each of the following programs and grade ranges, for a total of five (5) prize packages:

  • VIQC Elementary School
  • VIQC Middle School
  • VRC Middle School
  • VRC High School
  • VEX U

Challenge Requirements

Rules of the Challenge

Explore and document the inner workings of an electronic device. Your submission should use a combination of text and images to document and describe what you find inside an electronic device. We challenge you to choose a device you don’t mind breaking apart (for example, an old phone) then carefully deconstruct it to see what’s inside. Identify and research the components,try to determine what role they serve in the device’s design, and summarize your findings in a report.

Things to keep in mind for a successful submission:

  • For safety purposes, make sure the device you choose is approved by your coach, mentor, or parent as appropriate
  • Extreme caution should be used with capacitors, which may hold a charge
  • Any power sources or batteries must be disconnected or removed before deconstruction
  • You must wear safety glasses during the deconstruction process
  • What kind of device did you choose to explore, and why?
  • What identifiable parts did you find during deconstruction?
  • What role does each component play in the system?
  • What did you learn from exploring your electronic device?
Technical Details

A submission must meet these minimum requirements in order to be judged.

  1. Entry is created and produced solely by student team members. It is acceptable for adults to assist with downloading any necessary resources or submitting the story where students may need permission.
  2. Format: One PDF file (up to 20MB) that includes all content, including images.
  3. Size: Summary report up to 500 words.
  4. Title Page: Each entry must include a title page that includes
    • Tile of submission
    • Names of students who participated (using first names only is acceptable)
    • Team number 
    • Location of team
  5. Images: Each entry must include at least four (4) photographs of your project.

Judging Criteria

  • Up to 15 points for an Introduction identifying the electronic device selected, and why it was chosen
  • Up to 15 points for a summary of the components found inside the device, and research findings of what the components do and the roles they play in the system
  • Up to 15 points for a conclusion describing the lessons learned from this project
  • Up to 15 points for clear presentation of findings and organization of content
  • Up to 15 points for the quality of quality and readability of the writing, including spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.
  • Up to 15 points for the quality and thoroughness of images used to document the project.

Upload Instructions

  • Click the green Enter Challenge button on the right side of the screen.
  • Fill out the submission form and type a brief description of your challenge entry in the Full Description box.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the blue Links/Videos button in the upper right of the screen.
  • Enter the URL, title, and description of your video.
  • Click Add Link.
  • Click the blue All Entries button to confirm that your submission is visible.
Top menucross-circle
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram