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More than 80 elementary, middle and high school students and mentors from around New Hampshire and Vermont unite at Manchester Community College on February 19-20th for the 2021-2022 VEX Robotics Competition game, Tipping Point. The action-packed tournament will feature more than 40 teams who will compete with and against other schools in a series of back-to-back robotics challenges, with the goal of advancing to the VEX World Championship this spring.

On Saturday, February 19, Manchester Community College (MCC) will host the NH/VT State Championship VEX Robotics Competition for high school students, kicking-off a weekend of robotics events on campus. On Sunday, elementary and middle school students will compete in the VEX IQ Challenge. The teams will compete daily from 8am to 4pm.

There are more than 31,000 VEX teams from over 81 countries that participate in over 2,700 events worldwide. The season culminates each spring, with the highly anticipated VEX Robotics World Championship, uniting top qualifying teams from local, state and international VEX Robotics events to crown World Champions.

“When you mix the thrill of competition with hands-on learning and the chance to teach STEM-related skills to young people, you capture a bit of lightning in a bottle and we’re thrilled to host this event once again this year,” said Dan Larochelle, Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics at Manchester Community College.

The VEX Robotics Competition is managed by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation and serves as a vehicle for students to develop critical life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and project management, honed through building robots and competing with like-minded students from the local community. More information about the VEX Robotics Competition is available at RoboticsEducation.org, RobotEvents.com, and VEXRobotics.com.

This annual competition attracts many technology companies, hoping to plant seeds of interest that will become employee recruitment opportunities in the future. This year’s competition is made possible by the following sponsors: Northpoint Construction, NHHEU, Hitchiner Manufacturing, Superior Controls, Macy Industries, TurboCAM and the Foundation for Innovative Schools.

More information is available at www.mccnh.edu/robotics. For details on additional upcoming events, visit www.RobotEvents.com. For more information about the REC Foundation, go to www.RoboticsEducation.org.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 18:13

MCC Robotics Champions Recognized

NH/VT Students Competed in "VEX Robotics Competition" + "VEX IQ Challenge"

The top 80 teams from New Hampshire and Vermont have been whittled down to a few top performers from the NH/VT State Championship VEX Robotics Competition at Manchester Community College February 17-18, 2018. High schoolers, middle schoolers and elementary students spent the weekend at MCC competing for the right to advance to the championships in April.

The high school winners from Saturday are:

  • Team Discovery from Pembroke Academy
  • TechnoMagic from Legacy of Learning 4H Club in Pelham
  • Black Mesa from Thetford Village Academy in VT
  • Kennett Coders from Kennett HS

Middle and elementary school winners from Sunday: 

  • St. Anthony Team from St. Anthony School, Manchester
  • RoboCats from Oyster River Middle School, Durham
  • Robotics R Us from Cooper Homeschool in Dunbarton
  • Bears from St. Joseph Regional Junior HS, Manchester
  • SPLAT FORCE from Saint Benedict Academy-NH LEGO League, Goffstown
  • Lancers from Henry W. Moore School, Candia

The program teaches STEM skills to students, while training the next generation of engineers and high-tech leaders how to compete using creativity, science and a spirit of competition.

"This year's events were highly competitive and it is inspiring to see these young people embrace science and technology and apply what they have learned in such and exciting way," says Dan Larochelle, Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Professor, at MCC.

Sponsored locally by Macy's Industries and ESTEM and MCC Robotics, admission is FREE to the public. The VEX Competitions are among the world's fastest growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the world, now approaching 20,000 teams in over 45 countries. Organized by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, the competition season culminates each spring, with the VEX Robotics World Championship, a highly anticipated event presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the REC Foundation, which unites top qualifying teams from local, state, and international VEX Robotics events to crown World Champions.

More information is available at www.mccnh.edu/robotics. For details on additional upcoming events, visit www.RobotEvents.com. For more information about the REC Foundation, go to www.RoboticsEducation.org.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 15:57

Got Robots?

Grant provides free kits to allow more NH kids the chance to compete

Candia librarian Sue Demanche snagged a grant this year to receive a free $500 robotics kit for sixth-graders to participate in VEX robotics competitions.

“This has been so much fun,” she said. “The kids are so engaged and engrossed.”

Demanche’s grant funded a team of six students at the Henry W. Moore School after she lost out on state education department grants to start a team.

Manchester Community College and the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation in Texas have partnered to fund and launch 100 new Granite State teams. Jan. 15 is the deadline for schools and youth organizations to apply for grants. So far 15 teams have received grants.

“The whole intention of this grant is to get more robots in people’s hands,” said Dan Larochelle, who’s overseeing the effort. “That’s why we opened it up to homeschoolers, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, private schools, public schools.”

New teams pay a $150 registration fee but receive a $500 kit for elementary- or middle school-level teams or $1,200 for high school-level teams. The goal is to fund 25 high school teams and 75 elementary and middle-school teams.

Last fall, the state Department of Education’s training fund allocated $375,000 to start robotics teams, Larochelle said. It received 140 applications but could only fund half that many.

Demanche said her state application was rejected because the team didn’t have enough students on free or reduced school lunches.

She said the school wouldn’t have fielded a team without the grant. A parents group funded a second robotics kit, and the six-member team was split in half with hopes of expansion, Demanche said.

Her son, Gabe, is a Pinkerton Academy sophomore on that school’s VEX team and helps out with the Candia teams.

Larochelle, who previously worked for the Texas foundation, said the robotics competition encourages cooperation, even among teams.

“You have a lot more sharing of knowledge and that’s great for young kids,” said Larochelle, chair of Manchester Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Department.

Below the high school level, “these robots you can drive with a joy stick,” he said. “You have instant success and basically start building (students’) confidence, then they ask, how do I program this? How can I make it better?”

A VEX IQ competition is slated for Saturday at Trinity High School in Manchester. Manchester Community College is hosting a VEX robotics rookie team workshop on Jan. 6 at the college to help teams build their first robot, learn simple programming and competition rules.

More information is available by contacting Larochelle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MANCHESTER – Pembroke Academy’s robotics teams 134D and 134J teamed up with Nashua Christian High School team 4777D to win the NH/VT State Championship hosted at Manchester Community College on February 18, 2017.

Pinkerton Academy’s 241A won the Design award and Pembroke’s 134 E won the Excellence award, the highest award given to the all-around best VEX Robotics team. All five of these teams earned an invitation to the VEX World Championship to be held in Louisville, Kentucky in April.

Trinity HS team 40B won the Skills Challenge with a score of 112 points, ranking them 9th in the World. The top 50 teams also earn an invitation to the VEX World Championship.

“Manchester Community College has seen the growth and increased interest in robotics engineering programs on a local level and we are thrilled to support our students interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by organizing the VEX Robotics State Championship,” says Dan Larochelle, Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Professor, at Manchester Community College. “These competitions inspire young minds and expand opportunities for students to explore careers in this field.”

The REC Foundation’s programs are among the largest and fastest growing in the world. Numerous state events will be added in the coming years, offering students more opportunities to compete locally. “Robotics engineering programs naturally engage and inspire students to pursue STEM subjects and careers and we are committed to providing students access to exciting and challenging competition experience, like the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition, to accommodate their growing interest,” said Jason Morrella, president of the REC Foundation.

The New Hampshire State Championship was one of a series of VEX IQ Challenges and VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. The VEX Competitions are among the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics programs, with more than 16,000 teams from over 40 countries that participate in more than 1,300 competitions worldwide. The competition season culminates each spring, with the VEX Robotics World Championship.

(See the photos at NH1.com)

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 15:46

MCC Hosts New Hampshire VEX-U Competition

On Saturday January 30, 2016, teams from New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts competed at Manchester Community College in a one-day event designed to test skills for hand-built, student-designed robots. The winning team, "Feel the BERN," comprised of students from University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College will advance to the VEX-U World Championship in April in Louisville, Kentucky.

The robotics challenge called, "Nothing But Net," required robots to gather and then shoot balls into a series of nets to gain points. There was an offensive and defensive strategy to the game and teams competed directly against one another.

"We were proud to host this national competition. This is a terrific program that gets young men and women excited about problem solving, engineering and working together as a team under deadline pressure," explains MCC Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Professor Dan Larochelle.

Manchester Community College's new robotics club members competed, as well as teams from NHTI, UNH, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology and Ivy Labs Education.