Robotics Education and Competition Foundation seeks to engage more children in STEM



The Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation is extremely invested in encouraging more students to become involved in STEM- education based on science, engineering, technology, and math. The REC Foundation offers many great resources for teachers and schools. REC manages the largest middle school and high school robotics STEM programs, with exponentially growing elementary and university programs. The REC Foundation has over 20,000 teams expected to participate this season in all 50 states and 40 other countries. Florida in particular has 730 teams. There have been 74 VEX robotic competitions this season, including the upcoming VEX Robotics’ State Championships on Friday, Feb. 17. Matt Conroy, South East Regional Support Manager from the REC Foundation, stated that in order to “expand STEM in Florida through our programs, we must get the word out about our opportunities and engage schools and teachers into our competitions. Once the kids and teachers get a chance to compete, they all see the excitement of the students and are hooked.” 



The REC Foundation offers affordable STEM platforms at all grade levels, plus start up grants available each season from many sponsors like NASA, Harris, Northrop Grumman and more. These are individual school and teacher grants plus a REC Foundation and NASA District wide grant for elementary through high school teams in all schools. Several districts in Florida are learning and applying now for these, with several districts having won the grants already.

Additionally, The REC Foundation provides free curricula and standards mapping to assist elementary through high school teachers and help infuse STEM and robotics into their programs. By its nature, the study of competitive robotics not only encompasses all four pillars of STEM education, but also encourages important skills like teamwork, communication, and project-based organization. The REC Foundation exists to bring this exciting field to students all over the globe. “STEM programs provide our students with the connection of their academic studies to real hands on tangible problems to find real world solutions. Students see the relevance of academics and its applicability and relevance ‘in action’. When students are engaged in these connections, it excites students and gives them a renewed purpose to excel in all of their courses,” said Conroy.



“It is our goal to inspire students to pursue STEM degrees and careers,” said Conroy. He continued saying that “VEX Robotics STEM activities and programs develop the in demand skills required in the workplace for solving problems, team work, and communications skills. The programs also provide specific skill training and the opportunity to explore a number of career and continued education opportunities towards students’ advanced degrees. This allows students to make educated decisions regarding their futures. STEM careers are among the highest salaries and most demand careers in the world.”

For any questions about how to start a team for your STEM program or how to host events at your school, please contact Matt Conroy, South East Regional Support Manager, via phone (321) 257-8263 or email Matt_Conroy@roboticseducation.org.

For more information on FLATE's STEM programs, please visit madeinflorida.org. FLATE will be hosting several robotics camps this summer. To sign up, please visit FLATE's summer camp webpage here.