OPEF is thrilled to announce that Resource 1, a leading IT consulting firm in the Chicagoland area, kicked off a challenge grant campaign to expand exposure to our  VEX Robotics program.

“We know that our financial support and commitment will help develop great scientific minds for our future,” said Anastasia Valentine, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Resource 1. “Providing our youth a path to explore robotics technology at the middle school level is very rare. STEM and robotics will be a large part of the future when these children graduate from college.”

The robotics teams work under the guidance of high school mentors and teacher coaches to develop skills in teamwork, problem-solving, and creative thinking. VEX Robotics launched as a competitive club in 2005, and grew to sponsor 24 teams across two middle schools. Last year, we expanded to include an In-House League, with the goal of offering a more teaching-focused and less-intensive experience to a new audience of students. This year, we launched the Chicagoland Robotics League, with the goal of expanding middle school robotics programming and competitions in surrounding school districts.

The Resource 1 Challenge Grant will allow OPEF to maintain Robotics as a free program for all Oak Park students. Robotics costs about $500-per-student to provide, which has been challenging to sustain given the tremendous popularity and growth of the program. The Challenge Grant also will allow us to purchase updated equipment and competition game elements.

To donate to the Resource 1 Challenge grant, please visit us here.

A press release can be viewed here.