CREST Awards

Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) enrichment activities to inspire and engage young people aged 5-19 years

29/12/2014

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VEX Robotics Competition

VEX RObotics logoThe VEX UK National Championship in March 2014 at The Big Bang Fair marked the end of the third year of the VEX Robotics competition in the UK, a science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) focused platform that inspires students across schools and colleges to get involved in co-curricular and extra-curricular robotics courses. The program, already hugely successful in the US, South America and Asia is developing in the UK. It aims to bring brand new challenges and skills to school children across the country mapping to Design & Technology, Engineering and Computing curricula, as well as developing the practical application of maths and science skills.

The VEX Robotics challenge encourages many key transferrable skills, such as teamwork, leadership, and problem solving skills, as well as the opportunity to learn about STEM areas rich in career opportunities.


Students that participate are usually in team sizes of 4-8 and aged 11-18. You do need to have a VEX Robotics Kit to participate, though kits of different sizes and costs are available. This web page -

http://www.vexrobotics.com/vex/competition/startup - will give you links to all the information you will need. The highly popular Hexbug (link to www.hexbug.com) Micro Robotic Insects are made available to registered VEX teams at a reduced RRP to help with fundraising. Other helpful fundrasing hints here - http://www.vexrobotics.com/fundraising

The link between VEX and the CREST Awards is made  through student involvement with the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC). Teams that compete are required to design, prototype, build and program a robot to play the VRC game – in 2014/15 it is called “Skyrise”. During this process they should also keep an ’Engineering Notebook of how and why they reached their finished robot design.

This process will then allow them to apply for a Silver CREST Award – competing in the VRC does not guarantee an award – each team member must ensure they contribute towards the overall design and are fully involved throughout.


Clarification of eligibility and process

  • The VEX team ‘Engineering Notebook’ will contain evidence of the students’ collective work towards their competition entry
  • To apply for a CREST Silver Award individual students will have to compile a personal profile (which may have components in common with the team ’Engineering Notebook’) to show how they have met each of the criteria in the CREST Profile form.
  • Independent work and identifiable contributions to team work can both be used as evidence of meeting the CREST Award criteria.
  • Maintaining a personal CREST Profile whilst working as part of a team to develop and build a VEX Robot should not involve a lot of extra work for students and the parallel process of recording progress and team contribution in the CREST Profile and Design Workbook can act as a positive driver for the students involved.
  • Registration for the CREST Awards is ideally done when starting the VRC project to ensure criteria are met. Retrospective registration may be possible but is not the recommended approach.
  • If a student does not fully meet the criteria for a CREST Silver Award then they may be awarded a CREST Bronze Award (to be reviewed with the CREST Assessor).


If you would like to know how your school can join in the challenge, Please visit www.vexrobotics.com and www.robotevents.com  for more information and registration details.


You can also contact Paul McKnight, at VEX Robotics
Tel: +44 (0) 1925 251038 Email: paul_mcknight@innovationfirst.com

If you would like to register for the CREST Awards please contact your CREST Local Coordinator.

NOTE – schools and clubs are very welcome to use the VEX Robotics Design System ‘off-season’ outside of the VEX Robotics Competition for any of their own creative projects that may qualify for a CREST Award, and we would warmly encourage this. Particular emphasis is placed on a project using the VEX platform within the National Science and Engineering Competition.