We are dedicated to celebrating the achievements of students working on Robotics and related activities throughout Nebraska. Through recognizing their achievements, encouraging Nebraska's future in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


Awards at the 2018 Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship

VEX IQ tournaments are multi-faceted events that are designed to give students many paths to shine.  The 2018 Nebraska Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship on March 3rd will offer an array of awards to compliment the well rounded structure of VEX IQ by recognizing the following skills and more:
Designing & Developing Ideas, Planning & Project Management, Research and Solution development, Engineering, Building and Mechanical skills, Programming, Collaboration, Public Speaking, Leadership, Creativity, Time Management

Awards List


The following will be awarded at the 2018 Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship.

Robot Performance Awards

  • Teamwork Champion (2 Teams) [World Qualifier]
    1st Place Teamwork Challenge Alliance
  • Teamwork Challenge Second Place (2 Teams)
    Each Team on the 2nd Place Teamwork Challenge Alliance
  • Robot Skills Champion
    Top combined Programming and Driving Skills Challenge score

Standard Awards

  • Excellence Award – (Elementary School ) [World Qualifier]
    Most effective and efficient robot design process
  • Excellence Award – (Middle School) [World Qualifier]
    Most effective and efficient robot design process
  • Design Award – (Elementary School)
    Most effective and efficient robot design process
  • Design Award – (Middle School)
    Most effective and efficient robot design process
  • STEM Research Project Award
    Most effective research project presentation

Additional Judged Awards

  • Judges Award
    Recognition from Judges for special accomplishments
  • Sportsmanship Award
    Demonstrates respect and great enthusiasm
  • Think Award
    Robot utilizes effective programming
  • Inspire Award
    Team that inspires the Judges with their STEM Research Project
  • Create Award
    Robot with a creative engineering solution

Individual Awards

  • Teacher of the Year
    Recognizes outstanding teacher
  • Volunteer of the Year
    Recognizes outstanding program/event volunteer

[World Qualifier] Denotes awards that earn a World Championships qualification.

Closely following Event Documentation from REC


The following documentation is provided by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC), which will be closely followed at the Regional Championship.  Here are those documents for your reference:

Teamwork Champions – It’s all about collaboration


VEX IQ Challenge competitions focus on teams collaborating on the field to achieve the highest score they can together. The better they collaborate, the more rewarding the experience is for the team.  At the VEX IQ Regional, the collaboration between the top two team alliance in the finals is rewarded by earning a World Championship Qualification.

Excellence Award


The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge. This award is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high quality VEX robotics program. This team is a strong contender in numerous award categories. Excellence winners must have an Engineering Notebook and a STEM Research Project presentation.

Key criteria:

  • Design Award ranking
  • STEM Research Project Award ranking
  • Teamwork Challenge Qualification Matches ranking
  • Robot Skills Challenge ranking
  • Other Judged award rankings
  • High quality VEX robotics program

The Nebraska / Iowa Regional Championship will offer two Excellence Awards, one for the top overall Elementary School team and one for the top overall Middle School team.  Both teams will earn a World Championship Qualification.

Design Award


The Design Award recipient demonstrates the ability to implement the most effective and efficient robot design process. Their Engineering Notebook and discussion with the Judges will demonstrate the team’s ability to produce a quality robot with minimal adult assistance. Only teams that submit Engineering Notebooks are eligible for the Design Award.

Key criteria:

  • Engineering Notebook is a clear, complete, and organized document of the robot design process.
  • Team demonstrates effective management of skills, time, and material resources.
  • Students understand and explain how they developed an effective game strategy and robot design.
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills.

The Nebraska / Iowa Regional Championship will offer two Design Awards, one for the Elementary School team and one for the top overall Middle School team. The VEX IQ Design rubric will be used in Judging each team.

STEM Research Project Award


The STEM Research Project Award is presented to the team that shares the most effective STEM Research Project presentation. This presentation, as well as the followup discussion with Judges, effectively demonstrates the students’ significant depth of understanding of their topic and research findings. The presentation will also highlight the students’ work in sharing what they learned in an effective format.

Key criteria:

  • Identifies a challenge topic of interest that relates to the STEM theme for the season
  • Completes research and collects evidence using reliable sources
  • Demonstrates a well-organized and documented process to study and explain the research findings
  • Describes how the research findings were applied to develop and test the solution
  • Shares the solution in an effective and creative presentation
  • Students demonstrate an understanding of the entire research process
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills

This year’s STEM Research Topic is Robotics Engineering and Ethics.  The STEM Research Project Rubric will be used in Judging each team.

Inspire Award


The Inspire Award is presented to a team that has inspired Judges with their STEM Research Project presentation. This team will effectively communicate their passion for STEM and maintain a positive attitude throughout the presentation. The teams stem presentation will have impressed the Judges.

Think Award


The Think Award is presented to a team that has developed and effectively used quality program as part of their strategy to solve the game challenge.

Key criteria:

  • All programming is cleanly written, well documented, and easy to understand
  • Team has explained a clear programming strategy to solve the game challenge
  • Team demonstrates their programming management process, including version history
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot programming

Create Award


The Create Award is presented to the team whose robot design incorporates a creative engineering solution to the design challenges of the season’s game.

Key criteria:

  • Robot has a well-crafted, unique design solution, which demonstrates creative thinking
  • Team has demonstrated a highly creative design process and methodology
  • Team has committed to ambitious and creative approaches to solving the game challenges
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot

Sportsmanship Award


The Sportsmanship Award is presented to a team that has earned the respect and admiration of the volunteers and other teams at the event. VEX Worlds uses ballots for this award.

Key criteria:

  • Team is courteous, helpful, and respectful to everyone at the event, on and off the field
  • Team interacts with others on the game field in the spirit of friendly collaboration
  • Team demonstrates respect and willingness to help event staff, other teams, and spectators
  • Team demonstrates excitement and enthusiasm throughout the event

Judges Award


The Judges Award is presented to a team that the Judges determine is deserving of special recognition. Judges consider a number of possible criteria for this award, such as team displays of special attributes, exemplary effort and perseverance at the event, or team accomplishments or endeavors throughout the season that may not fit under existing awards, but are nonetheless deserving of special recognition.

Teacher of the Year


The Teacher of the Year Award is presented to a teacher who shows true leadership and dedication to his or her group of students. The winner of this award continually exceeds expectations to ensure a safe, enjoyable and educational experience for all students. The recipient of this award will be nominated by the students on their team with a written submission detailing how the teacher inspires, motivates and educates students in a positive, enthusiastic and challenging atmosphere.

Volunteer of the Year


The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an event volunteer who demonstrates a commitment and devotion to their community, putting in many hours of hard work with persistence and passion to help make events happen.

Feel Free to Share


Hopefully this email was helpful to new and veteran teams.  Please share this with anyone interested, if they wish to be added to the list they send an email to [email protected]

Have suggestions on additional topics that should be shared with the regional VEX IQ community?  Don’t hesitate to send us a note.

Tara and Brandon Petersen

Details on the Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship

The Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship will be held on Saturday, March 3rd.  Elementary and Middle School students from Iowa and Nebraska will come to this event using the VEX IQ Robotics Platform to compete in STEM challenges.

Just like a sports team, these students are motivated to achieve a goal.  They demonstrate determination, creativity and perseverance to overcome challenges.  Most importantly, they understand that hard work and commitment leads to greater success.

How to Register

All registered Iowa and Nebraska VEX IQ teams are eligible for the Regional Championship.  Coaches will need to visit the official event page to register for the Regional Championship by February 20th.  Please don’t hesitate to register at your earliest convenience.

What to Expect at the Regional Championship

This year, there’s been a significant increase in the number of VEX IQ teams eligible for the Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship. With the increase of teams, we’ve moved to a larger venue at the St. Cecilia Cathedral Gym.   This will include ample space for students, competitions fields, parking and spectators.

To better handle the increase in teams, there will be three Teamwork competition fields and three Skills Challenge fields.  All fields will be raised to the same height as the World Championship fields, which is 18 inches.

The Design and Excellence Awards will be awarded at grade level, allowing Elementary and Middle School level teams their own opportunity to earn the awards.  We also intend to add three more awards and need input from all VEX IQ organizations in the region.  If you are a coach, please visit this coaches input form to help us decide which three awards we add to the Regional Championships.

We plan to send out more in depth emails in the following weeks about different areas of the Regional Championships, including: the event agenda, awards & judging, World Championship qualification, and more.

Closely following Event Documentation from REC

The following documentation is provided by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC), which will be closely followed at the Regional Championship.  Any clarifications for the event will be run by the Regional Support Manager, Kirk Norrid, as needed.  Here are those documents for your reference:

Do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Petersen at [email protected] and Brandon Petersen at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Event Details

Here’s a quick reference of the most important details at the Nebraska / Iowa VEX IQ Regional Championship:

  • Date of Competition:
    Saturday, March 3rd.  Starting at 8 am
  • Cost of Registration:
    $35 per VEX IQ Team
  • Registration Deadline:
    February 20th, 2018
  • Event Venue: 
    St. Cecilia Cathedral Gym, 3869 Webster St. Omaha, NE
  • Skills Attempt Limit:
    4 Max Driver attempts and 4 Max Programming attempts per team
  • Total Number of Qualification Matches per Team:
    8 Qualification matches
  • Total Number of Alliances in Finals:
    10 Alliances
  • Worlds Qualification Spots
    4 total Worlds Qualification Spots by earning one of the following: Middle School Excellence (1), Elementary School Excellence(1), Teamwork Champion (2)
  • Event Registration and Full Details: 
    https://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-iq-challenge/RE-VIQC-17-3845.html

Feel Free to Share

Hopefully this email was helpful to new and veteran teams.  Please share this with anyone interested, if they wish to be added to the list they send an email to [email protected]

Have suggestions on additional topics that should be shared with the regional VEX IQ community?  Don’t hesitate to send us a note.

Tara and Brandon Petersen

2017 Jr. Jacket VEX IQ Tournament Results

October 28, 2017 The Jr. Jacket VEX IQ Tournament is the first VEX IQ tournament in the region. Elementary and Middle School teams from Iowa and Nebraska came to compete in the Ringmaster game. They got the chance to show off their early designs and learn a lot of lessons they’ll use later in the season.

The STEM Research Project Award was awarded to team 2501X (Team X-Treme) from Thomas Jefferson. The Design Award was awarded to team 2501W (The Hive) from Thomas Jefferson. The Sportsmanship Award was awarded to team 985F (Process of Alumination) from Mary Our Queen School.

This tournament also qualified two teams for the US Open VEX IQ Tournament. The Excellence award was awarded to team 985B (Spartans) from Mary Our Queen School. The Teamwork Champion Award was earned by 2501Z (Narwhals) from Thomas Jefferson and 985B (Spartans). The Robot Skills Champions were 2501Z (Narwhals) from Thomas Jefferson.

A great performance by these teams and the rest of the field! Check out the results below. Continue reading

Know the Challenge: Ringmaster

Know the Challenge

Each season brings a new IQ Challenge, which means new game objects, field objects and rules.  The intent of this email is to ensure students on every team have all information they need to have a successful and rewarding season.  Please forward to anyone that would be interested, including students, parents and mentors.

It’s all about collaboration
VEX IQ Challenge competitions focus on teams collaborating on the field to score the highest score they can together. The better the students understand the game, the more prepared they are to collaborate with others. The better they collaborate, the more rewarding the experience is for the team.

Continue reading

Nebraska & Iowa VEX IQ Challenge Season Starts

The 2017-18 VEX IQ Challenge season has begun in Iowa and Nebraska, with teams competing with each other in the Ringmaster game.  This will be the most exciting VEX IQ season with the expansion in teams and tournaments.

Rapid Growth in VEX IQ Challenge Teams

In 3 years, Nebraska and Iowa has seen rapid growth in VEX IQ Challenge teams.  We’ve already doubled the number of teams from last year, with more teams planning to register this season.  This growth has earned our region an additional World Championship Qualification spot for this season (now 3 spots).  If the team growth continues, we could earn additional bonus spots this season.

Also, we’ve been fortunate to maintain an even split between Elementary and Middle school teams.  Hopefully we continue to grow each division to allow both the opportunity for awards at each grade level at all tournaments.

Season     MS
Teams    
Elem
Teams    
Total
Teams    
Worlds
Spots    
# of
Events
2015-16 1 0 1 1 0
2016-17 5 5 10 2 3
2017-18* 12 14 26 3** 7

* Registration is still in process for the season.
** Based on the overall team growth by December 31st, REC could grant additional World Spots to our region. Continue reading

2017 Nebraska & Iowa Online Challenge Entries

The mission for Robotics in Nebraska is to develop critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills.  These skills will prepare our students to succeed in a future job environment that will be very different from what we see today.

Robotics competitions have been a effective way to engage students and get them interested in developing these skills, but it isn’t the only method.  We encourage many other activities that develop our students, including judged presentations and online challenges.  This year, the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation ran eleven different Online Challenges that spotlighted different skill sets for students to work on.

Nebraska and Iowa Entries

We’d like to spotlight the great work we’ve seen from Nebraska and Iowa teams on the Online Challenges.  We saw high quality submissions across both High School and Middle School.  You can recognize their projects by voting for their entries and/or ‘Liking’ their entry pages.  Check them all out:

High School

1028 – Brownell Talbot

1064 – Omaha North HS

3018 – Techna Pwn Robotics

Middle School

1073 – RM Marrs Magnet Center (MS)

985 – Mary Our Queen (MS)

Did we miss one?

There’s a good chance that we may have missed an entry from Nebraska or Iowa. We tried to find all of the entries we could, but you can help by sending us additional entries that we can add to this post. Send an email to [email protected]

Heartland Regional Robotics Middle School World Qualifiers

Congratulations to the world qualifiers from the Middle School division of the Heartland Regional Robotics Championships.  Five teams qualified for the upcoming World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

Award Number School Winner
Excellence Award 3018V TechnaPwns VEXcalibur
Tournament Champions 1060A Buffet MS 21 Bolt Street
1073A Marrs MS Decoded
1028J Brownell Talbot Murphy’s Law
Design Award 3018E TechnaPwns EMC^2

Heartland Regional Robotics High School World Qualifiers

Congratulations to the world qualifiers from the High School division of the Heartland Regional Robotics Championships.  Eleven teams qualified for the upcoming World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

Award Number School Winner
Excellence Award 1064A Omaha North Nebraska Nerd Herd
Tournament Champions 5813B Abraham Lincoln Black Squirrels
1970K Mount Michael Knight Shift
1064A Omaha North Nebraska Nerd Herd
Tournament Finalists 2501J Thomas Jefferson Full Metal Jackets
1064P Omaha North Almost HD
1045D Benson The Bunny Overload
Programming Skills Winner 8675 NRAI Fuzzy Wuzzy 2.0
Programming Skills Second Place 5233J NRAI Justice League
Robot Skills Winner 6813B Millard West MW M^3
Design Award 1028A Brownell Talbot C:\DOS\RUN

2016 High School Heartland Regional Qualifiers

Congratulations to the 44 High School teams who qualified for the Heartland Regional Robotics Championship. The VRC Heartland Regional Robotics Championship will host 44 of the best High School VEX Robotics teams from Iowa and Nebraska. These teams will compete for eleven qualifying spots to the 2016 VEX Robotics World Championships.

You can find full event details for the High School division.
Continue reading