ST. CLOUD -- Hundreds of future engineers will be putting their skills to the test this weekend in downtown St. Cloud.

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The 11th annual Minnesota Vex Robotics State Championship begins Friday at the River’s Edge Convention Center.

State coordinator Aaron Barker says while typically the tournament has been open to the public, the pandemic has forced them to make some changes.

We can have 250 people on the competition side, and 250 people on the spectator side. So we are reserving the spectator seats for the parents of the teams

Barker says prior to the pandemic they have over 500 vex robotics teams in Minnesota, but that number has dropped due to many teams opting to sit out this year.

Around 60 middle school and high school teams to compete Friday and Saturday, including St. Cloud Tech.

Barker says every year they change the objective teams need to complete.

This year has to do with a tick-tack-toe event. It's about working as a team to try a score as many points as you can for your team, while the other team tries to do the same.

Barker says the top 8 middle school and high school teams from the weekend will compete for a World Championship in May.

Barker says they are planning to host a signature event at the Benton County Fair this summer with teams from all over the world competing.

The REC Foundation’s VEX family of robotics programs for elementary school through college students includes 24,000 teams in over 60 countries.


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