VEX ROBOTICS

DESIGNING AND BUILDING ROBOTS ON TEAMS

BROOKS MIDDLE SCHOOL

OPEF VEX COACHES:

Brian Shinners, Head Coach and In-House Coach

Marc Bishop, Competitive Club Coach

Joe Casanovas, Competitive Club Coach

Tasia Pena-Rodriguez, Competitive & In-House League Coach

JULIAN MIDDLE SCHOOL

OPEF VEX COACHES:

Tim Walsh, Head Coach

Kevin Berger, Competitive Club Coach

Jason Morrell, Competitive Club Coach

Miranda Tucker, Competitive Club Coach

Gretchen Junker, In-House League Coach

Valerie Brown, In-House League Coach

VEX Robotics News

Robot Rumble!

  Six teams of VEX Robotics students at Julian Middle School designed robots, then built and battled each other in a Robot Rumble, exploring the various aspects of technology in competitive fun. The hands-on projects were organized in small groups, and kids...

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Robots and the American Revolution

What if Paul Revere was played by a robot? Working with D97 librarians, we recently began a pilot program for fifth graders combining our popular Geared Up and Robotics programs. The six-week residency excites kids about coding, tech, and robots and provides a new...

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Building a Sustainable Future for OPEF Robotics

  Over the years the VEX Robotics program has continued to grow, helping Oak Park middle school students gain valuable problem solving, communication, and engineering skills. Our program became a model for middle schools statewide because OPEF invested in...

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2018-2019 SEASON

League Event

VEX League Event

DECEMBER 8, 2018
Brooks at Julian Middle School

League Events

VEX League Event

JANUARY 19, 2019
Brooks at Hauser Middle School
Julian at Heritage Middle School

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

JANUARY 22, 2019 
Julian and Brooks In-House Leagues 
Events held at each school

League Events

VEX League Event

FEBRUARY 9, 2019
Brooks at Glenside Middle School
Elm, Hauser at Julian Middle School

Battle of the Bots League Championship

MARCH 2, 2019
at Julian Middle School

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

APRIL 30/May 7 2019
Julian (4/30) and Brooks (5/7)  In-House Leagues 
Events held at each school

A Premier “STEM” Program

Thinking, planning, testing…

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

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.

 

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.

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 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.

Last year we also hosted MakerSpace Clubs at both middle schools to continue our mission to provide exciting and innovative STEM programs to D97 students.

Our Battle of the Bots Tournament hosted thirty-eight teams and more than 300 people in 2017.

In 2016-17, we qualified 13 teams for the IL Middle School VEX Robotics State Championship and won 9 trophies, including the Tournament Champions Award.

VEX ROBOTICS:

  • brings in professionals to mentor students in the skills they need
  • enables students to learn STEM through hands-on projects
  • teaches teamwork, leadership, creativity, problem-solving and project management skills
  • builds a technologically literate work force and creates a pipeline for future employees

VEX Robotics

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.”

VEX Robotics

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.”

VEX Robotics

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.”

VEX Robotics

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.”

AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

OPEF 2018 Battle of the Bots League Championship:

  • Excellence Award
  • Tournament Champion
  • Tournament Finalists
  • Robot Skills Winner
  • Design Award
  • Think Award
  • Sportsmanship Award

2017 IL Middle School State Championship:

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

OPEF 2017 Battle of the Bots Middle School Tournament:

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

2016 Cougar VEX Starstruck Challenge:

  • 2 Tournament Champions

2016 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

2015 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

2014 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

SEE US IN ACTION

2015 PROMO AWARD ENTRY

GETTING READY – 2013 BATTLE

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2011-2012

“WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU”

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

Michele McAndrews

VEX ROBOTICS COORDINATOR

Michele McAndrews lives in Oak Park with her husband and three teenage children. For the past 15 years Michele has been an active volunteer in the Oak Park community including serving on the Board of Pilgrim Nursery School, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Vex Robotics Parent Mentor. Michele also has run Brooks Middle School’s primary PTO fundraiser since 2013. Before moving to Oak Park, Michele had a successful career in Management and Customer Service.

Connect with Michele at mvmcandrews@opef.org.