Linda Kekelis, Linda Kekelis Consulting asked Vicki Grisanti, Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

PostedWednesday, November 25, 2015 at 1:09 PM

What are effective practices to support youth with less experience and confidence and less access to resources?
I know that robotics competitions can inspire kids in engineering and technology, especially those already with an interest. I also know from experience that some kids can shy away from competitions or experience personal challenges in the course of working on them.  
1 Answer
  • Vicki Grisanti , Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
    Posted Monday, November 30, 2015 at 10:42 AM
    I recommend engaging youth in robotics and programming as early as possible so that they might gain the confidence they need at a young age and continue to draw on that early exposure long into their robotics experience. The VEX IQ Challenge, a program focused on grades 3-8 that the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation manages, does just that and provides elementary and middle school students an early entry to robotics. As children get older and are curious about robotics, but hesitant to engage another great option is to have them attend a competition and watch the event unfold or have an existing team of students offer an "Open House" in a local school or community to share news of the work they are doing and engage others. The VEX Robotics Competition is geared toward older students in late middle school and high school and many of the schools and after school programs we work with currently reach out to engage the community and a list of events is located on our website at and resources at Finally, each of these opportunities were specifically designed to be flexible and sustainable. There are free curriculum materials that map to NGSS and Common Core for classroom use or plenty of easy instructions to start it as an after school program and all robot components are reusable so that the cost to participate remains low.
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