Public School Vex funding

Vex Robotics is a club at our high school receiving minimal financial support from the school budget. Are there public schools out there that provide funding beyond a stipend for the club advisor? Our parts, transportation, tickets are all sponsored by local companies and parents. Thank you! What I am hoping to do is have the Science department and maybe the Math department take greater ownership of the club and use the skills learned as part of their curriculum in STEM.

I don’t know how your school board/system works, but I know that some schools have incorporated robotics (usually FRC though) into the curriculum as a class.

We face similar issues. We aren’t school funded at all. What we like to do though is look to businesses for donations or sponsorships. Something else we do frequently is go to fast food restaurants and set up deal where anyone with our flier gives 15% of their payment towards us. Small businesses really love their logos on your shirts too :smiley:

Hope something here is useful

A stipend for a school advisor would be considered very unusual in British Columbia. Public school teachers here who run clubs do so on a strictly volunteer basis.

Occasionally a school will kick in to help purchase some Vex kits, but usually the funding comes from parent advisory council and the operating expenses from students and their parents. Some of the more established schools have fundraising spaghetti dinners and/or community and corporate sponsorship.

I ran an FRC team (with subsidiary FLL, FTC, FVC and VRC teams) for seven years in Vancouver and would estimate the school and board contribution to our team to have been around 1% of operating costs… with no stipend. We were very fortunate to have General Motors Canada as a team sponsor. They were very generous and truly believed in investing in kids. The kids raised money through car washes, raffles, selling HexBugs (note: spare batteries have a better mark-up than the HexBugs) and Cookie Dough. In fact the team probably put more resources back into the school than the board supplied. I won’t say we never asked what the school could do for our team (but we usually knew what the answer would be…), but we certainly asked what our team could do for the school and community.


As a Project Lead the Way school VEX is part of our curriculum. Yet, our Board is actually extremely generous with funding when it comes to the competition side of VEX. Last year our Board contributed nearly 1/4 of our trip to Worlds (all that was necessary after community and corporate donations). The Board enjoys watching our presentations for each event as much as we enjoy showing off our winnings.

We also have to give a lot of credit to the community. We do a lot of events, for example our community hosts a “First Friday” event at our local Library where every month a group from our area sets up an exhibit for everyone to see, and though we didn’t plan on doing more than just handing out donation letters we walked out with a considerable amount in impromptu donations.

Our school has a grant program that is self-funded (by fundraisers, donations, and sponsors) that helped buy parts for our two younger teams 7580A and B. RECF also helped us start those teams as part of an initiative to start more middle school teams in Michigan.

The team I’m on, as well as dozens of others around Michigan, are sponsored by the MSU College of Engineering K-12 Outreach program. MSU’s engineering program has gained a lot of interest from high schoolers in the past few years because it promotes VEX and gets more kids interested in engineering. If more colleges around the world did this, VRC and college engineering programs would grow exponentially.

That’s us.:slight_smile:

I agree, try to get funding from local engineering businesses and universities. You never know what kind of funding you’ll get.

My School (cavelero mid high) has excellent funding for robotics. We also use VEX in a classroom setting. However, we have no sponsors so everything we buy, we pay for out of our club budget. However, we’ve spent thousands of dollars just this season already and have not yet run out of budget money, so I’d Say we have good funding. the most notable thing we’ve bought this season is a dozen pneumatic kits. Typically, if our club wants something, we just kinda, get it. All our tournaments and other expenses are paid for by the school as well.

I just started at a public middle school in SE PA. I’m lucky that it’s a pretty well-off area, which is admittedly not the norm. It’s my 2nd teaching job, my last job was teaching CompSci at a high school in a different district, and now I am teaching Computer Applications at the middle school (6-8) level.

A parent that is involved in VEX at the school where he teaches approached me about starting a team at the beginning of the year. We got a grant for a free super kit, and had our first meeting and had 93 kids (literally) show up. My principal was present at the meeting, looked at me wide-eyed, and said “we need to do something”.

Within a couple of weeks, between a grant from the district Community Ed Foundation, money from my boss’ personal budget, and money from the district office, we were able to purchase 10 kits total, along with tool boxes and storage . Our club numbers settled down to mid 60’s, which makes for large teams – larger than we really want.

We did charge students $25 each for the club this year, and intend to bump it up to a normal school activity fee ($95) next year, which I think will help weed out the kids that don’t show up on a regular basis. The club fee will allow us to buy spares, sheet metal, etc. without having to go to the district again.