The robots are coming: 2016 Vex Robotics Championships

Published: 12 February 2016
Filed under: General news, Industry, Innovation

Young people from across Auckland and New Zealand are getting ready to show they have what it takes to take on the world at the 2016 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship, being held at Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on 27-28 February.

VEX Robotics is the world's fastest growing robotics competition, with more than 13,000 teams from over 33 countries taking part in events held around the world each year.

The competition encourages students in two age groups (Years 7-9 and Years 10-13) to apply what they’ve learned in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to build their own robots which compete against each other in a match of skill.

Fourty eight Auckland schools are set to take part in this year’s event out of a total of more than 100 New Zealand schools.

Chris Hamling, CEO of Kiwibots – which organises the New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship – says the aim of the competition is to “inspire a passion for science and technology, but as with any sport the competition is intense. Teams take it very seriously whilst never losing sight of the fact that technology is fun.”

Each team taking part in the 2016 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship can compete and qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship, which are being held in Kentucky, USA in April 2017.

Chris says: “New Zealand students have got a great track record on the world stage, winning the VEX Robotics World Championship for the last seven years – and looking to extend this streak to eight years in 2016.”

ATEED is supporting the 2016 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship due to its close links to STEM subjects and actions in the Auckland Innovation Plan, says ATEED General Manager Business Innovation & Skills, Patrick McVeigh.

“If Auckland is to become known as an innovation hub of the Asia Pacific region, we need to equip our young people with the skills they need to succeed in ‘advanced industries’ – industries that invest heavily in research and development and have a high proportion of workers in STEM-oriented roles.

“The skills competitors learn through taking part in the VEX Robotics will be invaluable for their careers. It’s great to see that Auckland and New Zealand are producing students that can take on and beat the best in the world,” says Patrick.

STEM expo, 27 February:

This year’s VEX Robotics National Championship incorporates the 2016 STEM expo between 10am-4.30pm on 27 February. The expo provides a great opportunity for educators and the general public to see what the leaders in STEM education are delivering. 

With a vast range of robots competing, and rockets and submarines on show across the weekend, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about the practical application of STEM subjects and how to get involved.

For more details on the 2016 New Zealand VEX Robotics National Championship visit You can also watch a live stream of the Championships on 27-28 February below: