VEX Robotics News

OPEF VEX sweeps top awards at state

On Saturday, OPEF teams battled it out at the State Championship and won a record 7 awards!

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VEX teams head to State Championship after Battle of the Bots win

It was an exciting day last Saturday as 38 middle school robotics teams converged on Julian Middle School to battle for a place at the IL MS VEX Robotics State Championship.

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OPEF VEX competition season begins with a bang!

Both Brooks and Julian had a very busy weekend in an exciting start to our Competition Season! Brooks Competitive Club […]

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New programs, exciting opportunities

OPEF VEX Robotics is offering some exciting new programs this year.

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VIEW ALL VEX ROBOTICS NEWS >>

2016-17 Season

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

DECEMBER 17, 2016
Julian In-House League

Cougar Challenge

Cougar Challenge

December 10, 2016
Julian at Elm Middle School

Domo Arigato

Domo Arigato

January 21, 2017
Brooks at Heritage Middle School

Battle of the Bots<br>Tournament

Battle of the Bots
Tournament

FEBRUARY 4, 2017
at Julian Middle School

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

MARCH 18, 2017
Julian In-House League

IL MS VEX Robotics<br> State Championship

IL MS VEX Robotics
State Championship

MARCH 4, 2017
at Julian Middle School

A Premier "STEM" Program

<div style="color:#FFFFFF;">Thinking, planning, testing...</div>

Thinking, planning, testing...

and revising like an engineer is a life-changing, career-molding experience.

<div style="color:#FFFFFF;">Working closely with adult mentors...</div>

Working closely with adult mentors...

in tech fields, students see the relevance of their schoolwork and the joy of thinking, planning and testing like an engineer.

<div style="color:#FFFFFF;">Our students build confidence...</div>

Our students build confidence...

and competence, whether or not they pursue a career in STEM, as the next generation’s problem-solvers, creative thinkers and team players.

<div style="color:#FFFFFF;">We hire our own VEX graduates...</div>

We hire our own VEX graduates...

to help plan and organize the program and serve as role models and mentors to middle school students.

Exciting Engineering Challenges

Teams of students design, build and program robots to play the annual VEX Robotics Challenge game at local and regional competitions. Launched in 2005, this innovative program uses the excitement of competitive sports to get kids turned on to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

We are an award-winning program that is recognized both in Illinois and nationally as a premier STEM program.

We are working to promote STEM education in the Chicago area, and provide free advice and training to Chicago-area schools that wish to start their own VEX Robotics programs. Since 2012, we have helped start many of the middle school robotics programs in Illinois.

Each spring we conduct our Robotics Workshop for Girls to continue our mission to to get girls interested in STEM.

Our Battle of the Bots Tournament, held each year in early February, hosted thirty-eight teams and more than 300 people in 2016.

In 2015-16, we qualified 12 teams for the IL Middle School VEX Robotics State Championship and won 9 trophies, including the Tournament Champions Award.

VEX ROBOTICS:

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brings in professionals to mentor students in the skills they need

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enables students to learn STEM through hands-on projects

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teaches teamwork, leadership, creativity, problem-solving and project management skills

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builds a technologically literate work force and creates a pipeline for future employees

<div style="color:#FFF; font-weight: normal;">OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member</div>

OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member

"From robotics I learned to be patient (even when things are stressful!), to communicate with teammates/peers and how to overcome things I never thought were possible for me to achieve."

<div style="color:#FFF; font-weight: normal;">Parent of OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member</div>

Parent of OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member

“He’s not a sports program participant, so this was a marvelous way for him to be engaged with something. I was amazed to find him become a leader and ‘take charge’ guy when necessary. He grew highly skilled in problem solving and confident enough to be able to abandon solutions in favor of new solutions and consequences.”

<div style="color:#FFF; font-weight: normal;">OPEF VEX Robotics Female High School Mentor & Former Team Member</div>

OPEF VEX Robotics Female High School Mentor & Former Team Member

“What I didn’t know before I joined the VEX Robotics program is that I am really good at computer programming. This is something that I hope I can develop into a career and I have the VEX Robotics program to thank.”

<div style="color:#FFF; font-weight: normal;">Parent of OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member</div>

Parent of OPEF VEX Robotics Team Member

“This was an amazingly positive experience for my daughter. . . She has had the invaluable experience of learning to speak her mind, think creatively, and be an active participant in a group setting.”

State and National Award ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

IL Middle School State Championship:

  • Excellence Award
  • 2 Tournament Champions
  • Robot Skills Winner
  • Build Award
  • Design Award
  • Judges Award
  • Sportsmanship Award
  • Think Award

OPEF 2017 Battle of the Bots Middle School Tournament:

  • 2 Tournament Champions
  • 2 Tournament Finalists
  • Robot Skills Winner

IL Middle School State Championship:

  • Tournament Champion
  • Programming Skills Winner
  • Robot Skills Winner
  • Amaze Award
  • Build Award
  • Create Award
  • Design Award
  • Energy Award
  • Sportsmanship Award

OPEF 2016 Battle of the Bots Middle School Tournament:

  • Excellence Award
  • Tournament Champion
  • 3 Tournament Finalists
  • Programming Skills Winner
  • Robot Skills Winner
  • Design Award
  • Innovate Award

Illinois State Championship:

  • Middle School Excellence Award
  • Tournament Champion
  • Middle School Design Award
  • Programming Skills Award
  • Sportsmanship Award

OPEF 2015 Battle of the Bots Middle School Tournament:

  • Excellence Award
  • Tournament Champion
  • Tournament Finalist
  • Programming Skills Award
  • Robot Skills Award
  • Design Award
  • Build Award
  • Innovate Award
  • Judges Award
  • Sportsmanship Award
  • Think Award

Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Team Award of Merit

Illinois State Championship:

  • Middle School Excellence Award
  • Tournament Champion

OPEF 2014 Battle of the Bots Middle School Tournament:

  • Tournament Champion
  • Design Award
  • Robot Skills Winner
  • Innovate Award

Qualified for the 2013 VEX Robotics World Championship
Quarterfinals, 2013 U.S. National VEX Robotics Championship-Middle School Division
Tournament Finalists, 2013 Wildstang VEX Robotics Competition

“We Can’t Do It Without You”

$500 pays for one student to participate in OPEF’s VEX Robotics club and compete in tournaments.

DONATE NOW

Mary Beth Hausken

Mary Beth Hausken

VEX Robotics Coordinator / mbhausken@opef.org

Mary Beth Hausken began working with VEX Robotics in 2008 as the Julian Equipment Manager when her son joined the team. She became the Brooks/Julian Competition Event Director in 2010 and the VEX Robotics Coordinator in 2012. Mary Beth has a BA in Communications from Stephens College and has worked in both television and advertising. She has been an active organizer and volunteer in many community and school projects and was awarded the Those Who Excel Community Volunteer Award of Merit in 2011. She and her husband Phil have lived in Oak Park since 1987, where they've raised 3 children.

Kristi Braun

Kristi Braun

Kristi Braun has been an active volunteer with VEX Robotics since 2012, when her daughter first joined the program at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School. Kristi’s experience includes 16 years of sales, business and product development in the financial services industry. She most recently worked for Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry as Community Program Manager. Kristi has a BA in Business with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Photography from the University of Missouri. She resides in Oak Park with her husband and two daughters.

Team
BROOKSmiddle school
Team
JULIANmiddle school

Join Our Growing Team of Sponsors

Join the businesses that are helping Oak Park students get excited about learning! Our innovative program teaches students the academic and life skills they need to excel. Students learn not only technology and programming, but also teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and project management skills.

The following businesses and organizations provide financial support for OPEF VEX Robotics. Please show your appreciation by patronizing these businesses and thanking them for their support!

For more information on how you can support us, contact:, Mary Beth Hausken, OPEF VEX Robotics Program Coordinator.

GOLD SPONSOR ($2500+)

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SILVER SPONSOR ($1,000+)

Cummins Allison

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BOOSTER SPONSOR ($250+)

Forest Park Bank

 

Frequently Asked Questions

More Information about OPEF VEX Robotics

What are the overall goals of OPEF VEX Robotics program?
The OPEF VEX Robotics programs supports the larger mission of the Oak Park Education Foundation to provide innovative enrichment programs that have the greatest impact on District 97 students. OPEF VEX Robotics does this by:

  • bringing in professionals to mentor students in the skills they need
  • enabling students to learn STEM through hands-on projects
  • teaching teamwork, leadership, creativity, problem-solving and project management skills
  • building a technologically literate work force and creating a pipeline for future employees

What is VEX Robotics?
The VEX Robotics Competition, managed by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC), is the largest and fastest growing middle school and high school robotics program in the world, with more than 16,000 teams from 40 countries playing in over 1,350 tournament worldwide. Each spring an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students use the VEX Robotics equipment and design platform to design, build and program robots to compete against other schools and programs at local and regional competitions.

What is the OPEF VEX Robotics Season?
Recruitment begins in September. The clubs meet once or twice a week after school from 3:30 – 5:00 pm from October to March. Days vary depending on the school.

The season ends with the Illinois State Championship, typically in early March.

What is the recruitment process for the team?
Recruitment takes place in September. Each August recruitment information is posted on both the OPEF VEX Robotics website and the Brooks and Julian websites by the first day of school. The recruitment process can vary slightly depending on the school, but generally requires the student to attend an information meeting with a parent. The student is also required to attend several “tryout meetings,” which allow the coaches to meet the students and the students to get a taste of the program. The final team list is posted by the first week in October.

What is this year’s challenge game?
The VEX Robotics Challenge game for the 2016-17 season is Starstruck. The challenge game is typically announced in mid-April for the following school year.

How can I stay up to date with the OPEF VEX Robotics program?
You can join our VEX Robotics mailing list to get periodic emails, as well as follow us on Twitter for breaking news and to track our teams during competitions. 

How do I get more information about your program?
Contact Mary Beth Hausken, OPEF VEX Robotics Program Coordinator.