I have started a new high school VEX class at my high school. I want to take some of my students to witness a VEX competition before we jump into the arena (pun intended) next year. Are competitions only held in the fall or are they also held in the spring semester?
Competitions are held year-round.
Here is a map that will show you all upcoming events in your area, as well as local teams.
My advice is not to wait until next year to compete. Watch YouTube videos for some ideas, go to an early match to see how they operate. Get your students to build a robot, even if it is just a push bot. Enter them into a competition and see the fire ignite.
Depends upon your location. Where are you located?
Most US based competitions are December through February since it allows for the maximum build time prior to state championships at the end of February and beginning of March. Other countries with different school years (NZ, Singapore, Australia) will have competitions earlier to avoid their summer breaks.
So since it is just September you could go full force this year and participate now. Why not? It will make the hurdle less for next year. Look at robots on YouTube to see what competition robots look like. The claw bot kit is generally very minor part and you need to buy a lot more motors, gears, and metal for competition robots. So money could be an issue to add a few hundred extra dollars of parts to these robots versus what you have in the classroom already.
Like everyone else has said, is start out right away if you can. Get your kids to just get their hands on the parts and try stuff out. There’s always the chance one of the kids will be great at it and you should try to give then as much experience as you can before they graduate. At least this has been my experience. On our teams first year we decided to compete just for the fun of it. Turned out we liked it and sent two teams to world’s first year. So yeah, definitely try to start as early as possible. And if you can’t, there are many completions throughout the year but try to go to a compretition before the world championships because there are less comps after.