Oakmont Tech hosts annual spring VEX Competiton


Amore Fannon

VEX robotics competitors

Oakmont Regional High School recently hosted its annual Spring VEX Robotics Competition. For background information VEX  was started by Mr. Scecino (a Tech-Ed teacher here at Oakmont), and Mr. Lantry (a retired Oakmont Tech-Ed teacher). They first introduced VEX to our school in 2009.

Every year since then, students in Engineering Design and Design Tech are given the task to make different robots to perform different tasks based on the purpose of the competition. The purpose of each competition is different from the previous year. This year Oakmont entered 6 robots, named 15-24.

VEX just keeps going and even getting better each year. Secino commented,¨Presenting the real world challenge of problem-solving to students, and the pure exhilaration of working to make these robots.¨

Students work ½ to ⅔ of the semester learning general robotics, then finally creating their robot. Just weeks away from the competition, panic mode is setting in, and students are working diligently to make and program their bots. Then comes the final work day. The classroom is a beehive of activity. The day of the competition rolls around, full of eagerness and stress, the students and their bots make their way to their assigned tables. From the tables, students are scrupulous about the details and functions of their robots.


It’s now game time, all 10 schools have arrived, and the first match is about to start. Robots enter the dome, and Oakmont alumni arrive to judge referee, and field reset. Michael Carpenter,  one of the judges for the VEX  competition commented, “As a judge, I got to see every robot from every school in action. It was so amazing to see the similarities and differences in how people from our school and others solved the same problems. One of my favorite designs I saw that day was a pneumatic net launcher that was flawlessly implemented by one of the visiting school’s teams”.

This year’s competition challenges robots to shoot pucks into hoops, and sweep pucks into sections. As the day goes by the competition is coming to an end, and robotics teams head to lunch when the final matches wrap up.

Now it’s the day after VEX, and the students in each tech class are now looking at next year’s competition challenge, and evaluating how to make their robots function to the purpose of the challenge. 

Ian McLeod’s afterthoughts of VEX were ” I had a blast competing in the tournament. never thought we make it to the quarter-finals as bravo. watching it all come together was amazing and would do it all again if I could. competing with so many different teammates gave us a perspective we never had in class. “

Although Oakmont did not win, Aiyanna Sanborn, a junior here at Oakmont, and the only woman this year involved in VEX said, ¨The energy was still up, and the students were still proud.¨ 

Secino´s afterthought of VEX was that the competition will always have a place at Oakmont, as long as it’s available. It is safe to say that VEX isn’t going anywhere, and we can look forward to next year’s bots.