The Oak Park Education Foundation’s (OPEF’s) 7th annual VEX Robotics competition between Julian & Brooks students, who have been designing, building and programming their robots since October, will take place at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 28 in the Julian gym, 416 S. Ridgeland in Oak Park.

During the Robotics competition, OPEF is also holding an Open House showcasing its art, science, architecture and engineering programs in the Julian Commons from 10-noon. It’s free and features hands-on projects for kids ages 5-12.

The VEX Robotics competition involves more than 80 middle school students, who work with teachers, volunteer engineers, and high school mentors after school for months to build and program robots that will score points on a playing field in the gym on January 28. The most successful teams will advance to a regional competition and compete against other teams, most of them high schoolers.

The Open House in the Julian Commons is a great place for young Robotics fans to take a break and try their hand at some challenging, educational and fun activities. They can design and build with LEGOs, experiment with EPA scientists, build a pocket totem sculpture, create Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired window designs, and operate a VEX Robot.

The gym will be filled with cheering onlookers. OPEF will have a projection screen for great viewing, an emcee and DJ, food for sale, and hands-on projects for kids at the Open House. Thanks to our event sponsors: Aria Group Architects, Forest Park National Bank, Hoy Landscaping, It’s A Sign, and Starship Restaurant & Catering.

Follow the competition on Twitter.