In honor of the 10th year of the Oak Park Education Foundation’s VEX Robotics program in District 97’s middle schools, local technology firm Informitics, LLC has pledged a $10,000 challenge grant to encourage area businesses and community members to support the award-winning program and help it reach its 2015-16 $25,000 fundraising goal.

The OPEF VEX Robotics program has ambitious plans this year to significantly increase the competitive opportunities for participating kids. Just two years ago, only 9% of the club members participated in three competitions; this year 100% of the students will have the opportunity to participate in five or more competitions.

In an increasingly complex world, where success is driven not only by what kids know, but also by what they can do with what they know, it’s important for kids to be able to hone their engineering skills in stimulating, real-world environments – collaborating with peers and seeking advice from expert mentors.

“Increasing competitive opportunities helps kids build both their technical and soft skills. Plus, it’s fun!” says Tim Hunnewell, president and founder of Informitics, LLC.

Informitics issued its first challenge last year, which allowed OPEF to buy two robotics arenas for competitions. Success with this year’s challenge will help the organization not only fund its after-school teams but also help increase the resources to staff and manage the higher number of competitions, supporting the program’s goal to build student competence and confidence through competition.

Donate now online or by sending a check with “Informitics Challenge” in the memo line to: Oak Park Education Foundation, 970 Madison Street, Oak Park, IL 60302.

Informitics Challenge flyer_2015-16