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Ontario—Students from Sacred Heart School, Rancho Cucamonga and St. Joseph School, Upland secured top honors at the first annual Inland Empire VEX IQ Robotics Middle School League Championshipthat was held at St. George School in Ontario.

Twenty-one teams from Catholic schools, public schools, and charter schools competed at the event.

The day engaged middle school students in the 2019-2020 VEX IQ Challenge Squared Away. These teams will attempt to qualify for the chance to showcase their skills at the VEX Robotics World Championship, the culminating event of the season that draws the best teams from across the country and the world in an effort to be crowned World Champions.

In the VEX IQ Challenge, students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build a robot using simple, snap-together VEX IQ parts to solve an engineering challenge that is presented each year in the form of a game. Teams work together to score points in Teamwork Matches and get to show off their skills individually in driver-controlled and programming Robot Skills Challenges. St. Joseph School, Upland won the Teamwork Champion Award, while Sacred Heart School, Rancho Cucamonga won the Robot Skills Champion Award.

The VEX IQ Challenge fosters student development of teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

Ren Garcia, Sacred Heart School’s team advisor said, “I am so proud of all the Catholic School students who participated at this event. For most of the schools, this is the first time they’ve ever competed at a robotics competition, and not only did we hold our own against public schools and charter schools, but our schools were crowned Inland Empire Champions in two events! I am happy to say that robotics and STEM events are thriving at San Bernardino Diocese schools.”

St. Joseph School and Sacred Heart School will compete in the State Championships to be held in La Verne on March 14. Winners of the State Championship will go on to compete at the VEX Robotics World Championship to be held in Louisville, KY in April.>

“Teamwork, problem solving, and ingenuity are all on display at a VEX IQ Challenge event and students develop these skills all year long by participating on a robotics team,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “Together, with the support of educators, coaches, and mentors, we’re fostering students’ passion for STEM at a young age to ensure that we have a generation that is dedicated to creating new discoveries and tackling life’s future challenges.”

The REC Foundation manages the VEX IQ Challenge that many schools participate in around the world. VEX Competitions make up the world’s largest and fastest growing competitive robotics programs for middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. There are more than 23,000 VEX teams from over 61 countries that participate in over 2,500 events worldwide.