The VEX UK National Championship in March 2012 at The Big Bang Fair marked the launch of the VEX Robotics Design System 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 and aims to bring brand new challenges and skills to school children across the nation.
The VEX System encourages key 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/competition/startup  - will give you links to all the information you will need. The highly popular Hexbug (link to www.hexbug.com ) Micro Roboitc Insects are made available to registered VEX teams at a reduced RRP to help with 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 2012/13 it is called “Sack Attack”. During this process they should also keep an ’Engineering Handbook 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 Handbook’ 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 ’Engineerign Handbook’) 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).
You can also contact Paul McKnight, VEX Operations (UK & Europe)
Tel: +44 (0) 1925 251038 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 
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 Classroom Lab Kits ‘off-season’ outside of the 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.