February 21, 2023

Students from New Hampshire and Vermont put their STEM skills on display for a head-to-head robotics competition on Saturday.

The Vex robotics competition featured dozens of high school teams putting their custom robots against each other for a spot in the world championship later this year.

Dan LaRochelle, chair of Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing at Manchester Community College, said the competition offers students an opportunity to get hands-on experience with engineering and computer coding as they design, build and tweak their robots.

“Friction and torque and speed all have relationships that they learn about in a book and come to life in a robot,” LaRochelle said. “This is the perfect way to get kids excited about engineering and advanced manufacturing.”

Emili Sheldon, a member of the Coe-Brown Northwood Academy robotics team, said the competition requires hours of teamwork and preparation, and offers students STEM a chance to make friends with others who are interested in STEM and robotics.

“My favorite part was meeting my best friend through this,” Sheldon said. “I knew I had to do something building and getting my hands on something so I joined robotics.”

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