End of Vex for me... OR IS IT?

This year I have been participating in Chrome Broncos. I went to Lake Highlands, Greenville, Berkner, Regionals, and Worlds RECF. I also went to TSA state, and dominated, so we are going to D.C. for nationals in June.
I am still on the team until TSA Nationals is over, but after that I am pretty much done. I will be leaving middle school and going to high school. I would like to continue. My high school has already said no to doing Vex. While I was at worlds and I was sitting in the pits doing nothing, I decided to go around and look at peoples’ displays. The Dreaming Robot, who I believe is 8813A said on their board that they had the same situation as me. They said they registered as a home school and went to competition that way. I would like to know how exactly this is done, so I can go to the summer games.

I don’t know about summer games but me and my friends from our homeschool group started a team and sold pies to get the money to start a team. My mom and dad really kickstarted it but after that I was the one making phone calls setting up this string up that… its really pretty easy. the hardest part is probably going to be money and members once you get a couple guys that want to stay your golden, but you have to make shire you can all get to the meetings. One of my friends had a tech center that he went to from 11:30am to 3:30 pm and we were hardly able to work with him at all. the only other hard part is money, as or right now a lot of the parents are pitching in to help out with costs but were still struggling heres proof:no pneumatics, 2 hex keys, one cortex, and 4 of our motor controllers don’t work. I started a thread on how to upkeep a team because now that we know how to build robots we are limited to what we build cause of money… thats probably gonna be your biggest issue.:o

You can register your team at robotevents.com and go from there. You do not have to be a school and can register as an independant team. You should be able to find team members easily, our team is expanding quickly since we moved to Rockwall and have had people coming out of the woodwork asking to join. With July just around the corner I would get busy with a gofundme or kickstarter fundraiser to get things rolling. I would be glad to help you by answering any questions, we have learned a lot along the way. Your current robotics teacher knows who my dad is so he can also shed some light on our experience.

Doing your own thing with Vex is very easy if you can find a source of funding. It sounds like you already have the knowledge to run the team yourself, so a mentor might be optional, but money is essential.

You might consider getting your mentor or parents to start a Vex club as a non-profit, 501c3 organization. This provides some incentive to people who would donate to your club - it enables them to take some of their donation off their taxes.

America likes winners, and the fact you have been so successful is a great start to raising some money. Our experience is that big corporations are less likely to give, but small businesses in your local community are more likely to step up and help. GoFundMe has worked to help us. If you can, get your local newspaper to do an article on your robotics club, or your lack thereof and your predicament with the school system. If your high school has no other STEM-related activity, then you can talk to the local newspapers and play the shame card, which might get local business people to take notice and help you, you free-spirit, you. Last time I checked, Texans like that sort of independence thing. :slight_smile:

Some of the best VEX robotics programs in the world are not school-based. The first year is the hardest (when you have to build up your parts inventory), but after that it gets easier.

Also, don’t give up on your school. All it takes is one friendly teacher to help you start a club.

Work on finding a couple of team members by asking classmates, checking with a local home school cooperative (even though you are not home schooled) and contact me at thomas_mead@roboticseducation.org

While it is doubtful I can help you have something in place by the Summer Games, I can provide you with assistance in building a sustainable robotics team and finding the resources you need to be successful. As Rick Tyler said many of the best teams are not school based teams, you can see this in North Texas as well.

Good point. Check around. Talk to the PTA, too. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

You might also check on your local 4-H club. There’s a 4-H club in Maryland, team 24, that is incredible. The 4-H clubs are getting more into technology these days, so they are no longer limited to holding just hog-calling contests.

There are also a lot of teams that are in Scouting. Exothermic Robotics and Quantum Robotics in Washington are both Venturing Crews, for example.

I have had a couple of students who went to different high schools and although one school offered VEX, they wanted to stay together. I offered to let them compete for me at the high school level. They worked on their own, but gave me regular updates. I handled all their registrations. Their parents just paid me later. They had received a grant from REC so they had the basic kit, but I supplied them with extra parts when they needed them. There are some that say that I am reducing the quality of the high school teams by allowing this, but after working for three years together the quality of their team work just got better and better. Since they said they would rather quit than separate, my option works best. It should never be about the school anyway. Good luck in your search. Since you are in our area, let me know if there is anything I can help you with. If your team needs a place to scrimmage or practice on weekends you will be more than welcome to come to Austin Academy.

Corey Bankston - Austin Academy for Excellence
Teams 7504

The reason I was hoping to set it up as a school is so I could participate in TSA.

I like that idea, but would it be able to count as a school and the team be eligible for TSA?

Just come to Berkner! We’ve got a great robotics team!:smiley:

LOL… Maybe not possible…:smiley:

Same thing I’m finishing middle school and our high school doesnt do vex . We have had our most sucessful year so far and the 8th grade sack attack team also is at the high school we have been writing notes and going to see all the important people I’m actually going to see the mayor tommorow when he comes to see our school but not specifically for us. If anybody has any ideas please tell.

you always have the option of being an independent team if the high school doesn’t work out! you can round up your colleagues (no pun intended) and find a mutual meeting place and work out a time when everyone is free to meet up. Social media and cloud sharing can come in handy as well. Also try and work on a training program of sorts for any newcomers who are interested in your team. (Many will learn by doing, but just teaching the fundamentals can be helpful) Be sure to look for sponsors too, no matter whether or not you’re H.S. or independent. Create a sponsorship package that explains what you’re doing and what the benefits of donation are (Promotion of STEM, Company name listed on website/T-shirt/robot, etc) Try to see if your organization can apply for tax exemption, which is a great incentive for potential donors.

This would be his best option!

Berkner is a very strong club/group and would welcome you with open arms. They’ll definitely be one of the best options.

Good luck, hopefully, we’ll see you around!:smiley:

I do not usually post on the forums here because I believe this is for the kids, but I felt compelled to chime in here because of the situation that our home area presents to us and the situation that you are in. My son has been involved in robotics since the forth grade. He has been involved with Vex robotics since the eighth grade. I believe the first game he played was round up. My point is this, he is not associated with any school or organization, he is a one man team. We started an organization, got a federal I.D., checking account, and we where good to go. You can file for a non profit organization but you do not need to. The reason for filing for a federal I.D. number is so that sponsors and contributors are sure that there funds will be used just for the sole purpose of benefiting your team/organization. We do everything, face book page, t-shirt design, travel plans, we even run our own vex competition to raise money for the organization. You can get sponsors, you can recruit others to your team or organization, you have very few restrictions. Sorry for rambling, you are only done if you want to be done. You have avenues open to you if you wish to explore them. But, you will need support, friends, family, church, clubs, neighbors, who ever will assist you. Be sure of this though, if you try to do something, it will be very rewarding to build something that hopefully will live on after you leave high school. Good luck.

Team 3233 Fondy Heat FHS Cardinals
2014 Worlds Toss Up Engineering Division #12 rank #7 alliance captain

You can most definitely start a team without being affiliated with a school! All of the 323 teams (yes the infamous 323Z as well) are not affiliated with any school. We fundraise all of the money ourselves and get sponsors. Hope it all works out for you and good luck!

You can also form a 4-H team, check this out.