The Last Word: VEX Robotics’ Tony Norman on the 30,000 Students from 50 Countries Competing in Dallas for the 2023 World Championship

“It’s truly an inspiration to see students from all over the world come together to compete and show off their achievements in relation to STEM.”

Tony Norman
Co-Founder and President 
VEX Robotics
.…on the REC Foundation’s 2023 VEX Robotics World Championship, being held in Dallas Tuesday through May 4.

Robots, start your engines! Beginning Tuesday through May 4, more than 30,000 students from all 50 states and more than 50 countries are bringing their custom-built robots to the 16th annual VEX Robotics World Championship at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Operated by the Greenville-based Robotics Education & Competition Foundation right here in North Texas, the annual global event is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation

Amid audience cheers, students must make critical design adjustments as they steer their robots through exciting matches, hoping to survive and win all the way through so they can be crowned world champions next week. 

Students competed year-round in qualifiers to earn this shot of greatness

Students participating in a previous VEX Robotics World Championship event. [Photo: REC Foundation]

If you think AI and robotics have been making headlines lately, just wait: This next generation of STEM innovators may soon make their own stamp on the future. But first, they have an appointment with destiny in Dallas, after competing year-round to qualify at state and regional competitions for the right to compete here this week.

Over the next several days, student-led teams ranging from elementary to university age groups will showcase their game strategy, design, and teamwork skills in competitions including the VEX IQ Challenge (elementary & middle school), VEX Robotics Competition (middle school & high school), and VEX U (colleges/universities).

Learning ‘real-world skills’ for tech careers

[Photo: REC Foundation]

“The value of regional competitions throughout the season and this world championship helps teach real-world skills and prepare students for a range of technology careers,” Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation, said in a statement. “I’m so proud of these extraordinary student competitors along with over 400,000 young innovators in our robotics community that truly represent the next generation of problem solvers.”

“The dedication, perseverance, and ingenuity they showcase is building the foundation for a truly remarkable future,” added VEX Robotics president and co-founder Tony Norman.

Global sponsors from NASA to Tesla to T.I. to U.S. Air Force Special Warfare

Besides the Northrup Grumman Foundation, other global sponsors that support the program year-round along with this event include Google, NASA, Tesla, MathWorks, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force Special Warfare, Kettering University, Magikid, Texas Instruments, Onshape, Dallas Sports Commission, and the U.S. Army.

Also based in Greenville, northeast of Dallas, VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities, and robotics teams worldwide.

In April 2018, the VEX Robotics Competition was named the largest robotics competition in the world by Guinness World Records

The VEX Robotics World Championship events are free and open to the public Tuesday through May 4. For more info, go here.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

Two students compete in a previous VEX Robotics World Championship event. [Photo: REC Foundation]

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