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Building Teams for First Robot Extreme Challenge at WKCTC Deadline January 23

West Kentucky Community and Technical College is gearing to host its first Robot Extreme Challenge (RCX) in March. But first, its time to build the teams that will participate in the competition.

Elementary, middle school and high school students can participate in the competition that will be held at WKCTC March 7, but any student who is interested in being on a Robot Extreme Challenge team needs to register by January 23. Teams can consist of up to ten students in each of the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The 2015 RCX competition is built around the theme of a Mars Adventure. Students get to imagine themselves doing the tasks of humans living on Mars and work on projects that revolve around the theme.

Each year, the Kentucky-based competition helps students build skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and involves participants preparing a LEGO EV3 Robot to complete as many as 13 missions. Students pre-program the robot to do one or more missions at a time and try to complete as many missions as they can in three minutes. Student teams will get three different tries to gather as many points from a run as they can. Top score from any of the runs is used to determine winners of each level.

Students who want to register must order a RCX competition mat and Mission LEGO structures on the RCX Web site at rcxrobot.org. The cost per team is $175. Teams that dont have a LEGO EV3 robot kit will have additional costs and can be purchased locally or ordered on the web at LEGO.com.

Rules for each mission are posted on the RCX Web site. After reviewing the rules, students brainstorm, plan, and design their robot and LEGO attachments. Students test their inventions and revise them until they successfully work for each mission.

Organizers are excited to host the RCX competition on the WKCTC campus. I have the privilege of getting young people excited about STEM, said Bill Kunnecke, WKCTC program director of the STEAM Initiative. As someone who has worked in education for almost 30 years, I recognize how positive experiences in this exhilarating environment of friendly competition can open students eyes to the vast world of opportunity in STEM career fields.

For more information and to register for the Robot Extreme Challenge, visit rcxrobot.org Call (270) 534-3335 for more details.