, 2023-01-05 05:18:16,
On Tuesday, the St. Cloud Tiger Robotics announced that they will host their first VEX Robotics tournament at Tech High School on Saturday. Eighty-one teams will travel to St. Cloud from across Minnesota to compete in this all-day competition. This tournament will be the first VEX Robotics tournament hosted at the school since it was built in 2018.
The VEX Robotics program is a national organization that allows student teams from around the world to engineer solutions using disciplines including technology, engineering, math, art, and communications. Each year, students are presented with a new game challenge, which they complete to build a robot from the ground up. This year’s challenge is titled VRC Spin-Up and looks much like robot-based disc golf.
Matt Keil, the coach and advisor for the robotics’ club at Tech high school, started the robotic teams nine years ago.
“We started with just a few students at the time and our goal was to grow. Every was growth and after nine years we’ve just been growing, getting better and better, and learning more as we go along,” Keil said.
He said St. Cloud Tiger Robotics wanted to host the event much sooner but couldn’t. They did not have an adequate facility to host and they lacked experience in the field. The club had a better opportunity with the new tech high school building which was opened in 2018 but still needed to wait to make sure that the technology worked in the new school. They were sidetracked again in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and put a halt to nearly all school activities across the country.
According to the American Association of University Women, using 2020 data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 28% of STEM labor field in the country. The St. Cloud Tiger Robotics club often shows higher numbers in regard to female representation. It fluctuates by year but in some cases it can go as high as 50% according to Keil, but it’s not where he would like to be in other categories of underrepresented groups.
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“We’re completely open enrollment but I also try to be strategic in trying to get to the students that don’t have the confidence or don’t have the resources to part of the program…. I’d try to give them the knowledge to say ‘Hey! You are capable of doing this.'” Keil said.
He’s also proud of seeing students from the school district’s SPED program as well.
“Part of our…
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