Here’s a competition that may be of interest to teachers of ICT and Design/Technology:

Young robotics enthusiasts from throughout Great Britain are invited to compete at the first ever VEX UK National Championship during The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair, held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre on 15 and 16 March 2012. Interested students are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible, as competition slots are expected to fill up quickly.

Debuting in the United States in 2005, VEX competitions have quickly become the fastest growing and largest high school robotics competitions in the world, with 10,000 students from 16 countries taking part in the World Championships at Walt Disney World Florida  this year. This Championship, which is the only World Championship qualifying event in the UK, will see battle commence as secondary school teams from around the country go head to head with their own robotic creations in hopes of impressing celebrity host and judge Robert Llewellyn, widely known for his role as mechanoid Kryten in the iconic sitcom Red Dwarf and as presenter of popular engineering show Scrapheap Challenge, in order to qualify for the 2012 VEX World Championships in California.

The VEX UK National Championship marks the launch of the VEX Robotics Design System in the UK, a science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) focused platform that inspires students across schools and colleges to get involved in co-curricular and extra-curricular robotics courses. The program, already hugely successful in the US, is in its first year in the UK and aims to bring brand new challenges and skills to school children across the nation. The VEX System encourages key teamwork, leadership, and problem solving skills, as well as the opportunity to learn about STEM areas rich in career opportunities.

Teams of 6-8 students aged 11-15 are eligible to compete in the Championship. For those schools interested, subsidised VEX Classroom Lab Kits are available for £550.

Please visit www.vexrobotics.com and www.robotevents.com  for more information and registration details.