The Oak Park Education Foundation’s annual VEX Robotics competition, the Battle of the Bots, will take place at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 26 in the Julian gym, 416 S. Ridgeland in Oak Park. This action-packed competition will feature OPEF teams from Brooks and Julian as well as guest teams from Oak Park, Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. These students have been designing, building and programming their robots since October to compete in this year’s VEX Robotics challenge game, Sack Attack.

During the Robotics competition, OPEF will also hold an Open House showcasing our art, science, architecture and engineering programs in the Julian Atrium from 10-noon. It’s free and will feature hands-on projects for kids ages 5-12.

The OPEF VEX Robotics program involves more than 80 middle school students who have worked with teachers, volunteer engineers, and high school mentors after school for months to build and program robots to score bean bags in goals in a match arena game. Additional points can be earned for robots that can score autonomously. The most successful OPEF VEX teams will advance to a regional competition and compete against other teams, most of them high schoolers.

The Open House in the Julian Atrium will be 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, experience physics with an astronomer, make a bonsai tree, create a landmark building for our skyline, and operate a VEX Robot.

The event will draw more than a hundred Robotics competitors as well as their cheering coaches and families. There will be a jumbo projection screen featuring live video and scoring information, an emcee and DJ as well as refreshments for sale. This event is sponsored by Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Aria Group Architects, Marion Street Cheese Market, The Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest, Automated Lifestyles, Forest Park National Bank & Trust Co., Hoy Landscaping, Fitness Formula Club Oak Park and Starship Restaurant & Catering.