VEX Robotics News

Resource 1 Challenge Grant Announced

OPEF is thrilled to announce that Resource 1, a leading IT consulting firm in the Chicagoland area, kicked off a […]

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Pilot program expands to Brooks

The In-House League is being rolled out at Brooks this year, offering students a no tryout, no cut robotics program option.

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Announcing the 2017-18 VEX Robotics recruitment

District 97 middle school students interested in participating in the OPEF VEX Robotics program must attend a Student Interest Meeting in September at their school.

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Exciting changes for OPEF VEX this season

Exciting changes are coming to the OPEF VEX Robotics program this year that will make this season our most exciting yet!

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VIEW ALL VEX ROBOTICS NEWS >>

2017-18 Season

League Event

League Event

DECEMBER 9, 2017
Julian at Brooks Middle School

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

DECEMBER 11, 2017
Julian In-House League

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

DECEMBER 12, 2017
Brooks In-House League

League Events

League Events

JANUARY 20, 2018
Brooks at Hauser Middle School
Julian at Heritage Middle School

League Events

League Events

FEBRUARY 10, 2018
Glenside, Heritage at Brooks Middle School
Elm, Hauser at Julian Middle School

Battle of the Bots<br>League Championship

Battle of the Bots
League Championship

MARCH 3, 2018
at Julian Middle School

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

MARCH 17, 2018
Julian In-House League

Robot Rumble

Robot Rumble

MARCH 10, 2018
Brooks In-House League

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 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:

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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.”

AwardS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

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

“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.

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: Karen Daily, OPEF Director of Development.

PLATINUM SPONSOR ($5,000 +)

GOLD SPONSOR ($2500+)

SILVER SPONSOR ($1,000+)

BOOSTER SPONSOR ($250+)

 

 

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BROOKSmiddle school
Team
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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 Chicagoland Robotics League 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. 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 typically posted in early October.

What is this year’s challenge game?
The VEX Robotics Challenge game for the 2017-18 season is In the Zone. 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 e-newsletters, 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.

 

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