Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

"Thinking Outside The Box" Photography Challenge

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is global and most of us are practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve, that leaves many of us with a lot of downtime or finding unique ways to accomplish a goal. With school or activities being hybrid, virtual, or in-person, we wanted to come up with a new photography challenge for this season.

Take some time to focus your mind and attention on some photo projects that can help you become a better photographer and to think outside the box. Part of becoming an improved photographer is understanding how to challenge yourself to put the skills you already have to the test and acquire new skills that will allow you to expand your boundaries as a photographer and a member of the VEX community.

With this challenge, you will not travel to far-off locations to find material worthy of a photo. We want you to submit a photo of something or someone in your everyday life that reminds you of your experience with VEX Robotics and why. Compose a photo that conveys an emotion, specifically the feeling you experience when you are reminded of the season’s before and what you love most.


Robotics tool


While we build some of our teammates like to make toys to play with. Sometimes their creations are cool and sometimes they can be as annoying as COVID. 

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The Search for Knowledge


This is team 56445B researching improvement ideas for their robot. They are trying to get the robot to stack three risers high to score the max amount of points. This makes me think of the seriousness of concentrating to accomplish a goal.

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To further our education in teamwork and engineering, we are building robots with the purpose of winning a game. The other teams are expected to be smart and competitive, so in order to win the games, we have to be more dedicated than them. We are all working as a team to put together our individual strengths to build the best robot possible. 

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A Robot Vaccum


The world of robotics is amazing and full of wonders. From drones to vaccum cleaners to life saving equipment. I have learned so much in my time so far in robotics, from how to code to how to build. The robot vaccum is very handy it helps us save time and energy on helping keep a house clean. 



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Robo Royals Think Outside the Box Corona


This picture was created to show our current situation of learning robotics in the time of Covid.  

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Rise Higher


I have not looked outside for a long time, so when I stepped into my backyard, I took a deep breath of the fresh morning air. Thinking of the days ahead, I saw myself still at home, learning from a distance, unable to meet with my friends in person. I looked around and I saw two radio towers in the distance. One was short and one was rising higher than the other. They reminded me of our VEX challenge this year. My picture is called “Rise Higher” relating to this year’s challenge: Rise Above.

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An Effort


My photo is called An Effort. I named my photo as such because it reminds me of the effort my team and I put into robotics. The photo shows effort, for example, the pelicans are having a great amount of effort trying to catch the fish. They are patient and don't give up for their meal and they have a benefit of doing this. They now have their lunch. This is just like my team and I putting in the effort to get the benefit of earning the points, after the round is completed. This concludes my description of my photo and why I named it An Effort.

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Medicine Mom


My mom is my inspiration. She help to create this device to help  others. She is amazing. Thanks mom! 

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Teamwork ~ From Ideation to Full Bloom with...


While I was sitting in my garden, I looked into different stages of the flowers growing from a bud to full bloom, similar to how we started brainstorming our ideas to solve the Rise Above challenge. We first came up with ideas to form a team and robot. Next, we built the models for designing the claw, base and expansion and we finally built the perfect robot. I also saw how diverse ideas from different team members helped to make a successful project similar to how different color flowers in a vase made a beautiful decoration. 

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Passion and Protection can Co-Exist


Robotics passion with Covid safety protocol by wearing mask and face shield 

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Truck Load of Passion


Truck Load of Passion with VEX

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Our Crazy Robotics Coach


My teacher loves robots so much that after one of our teams here at Hamilton Heights did a good practice run she jumped up in excitement. After this practice run she told the whole team that if they could beat it she would buy us some ice cream. With this challenge it encouraged our teams to work faster, harder, and better to build a robot that could beat these scores from the other teams. So I got to work with my team to finish the robot and attempt to achieve the goal she set. In the end her challenge encouraged all of our teams to work together and better to get the ice cream.

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Minute Detail


Sometimes I look at advertisements, always accidentally spotting those perfect photos that are seemingly impossible for me to achieve. But this photo from a motherboard allowed me to realise that everything is possible. With the little details of the fallend dusts, the clear turning edges of each delicate part, and the reflections on those individual metallics, I am affirmed that all things are possible if you strive for it. This reminds me of how me and my team had always strove for the best in robotics, even the most minute details, and I am inspired to continue to do so.

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Turbo Bot from vex


I knocked over one of the risers and it rolled away. It kinda reminded me of the Turbo bot toy my grandpa got me for Christmas last year. So, I decided to make my own rolling bot using the risers as the wheels. At first it was really bumpy because of the octagon shape of the risers. So I stacked three together on each side and rotated each one a little more to make it roll smoother. I also made it a friendlier face. It's really fun to play with and I'm proud of it.

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Rise Above the Box


Rise Above The Box

Every day, people think inside the box, and others try thinking outside the box. I tried thinking "above the box". People need to think about all possibilities, no matter how improbable. While building my robot, I couldn't stack 3 Risers on top of each other, then I thought about making the robot taller. I saw an old robot with 2 arms snapped together with a piece. It inspired me to use the same technique. In this picture it shows me rebuilding the arms. Adding more length was a unique and creative way to think "above the...

My Magic Mentor


This is my very magical and helpful mentor Mr. Leete. 

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Building in progress


This big robot is still in the building process. Also this picture was chosen because it needed to be known! It will be fast and good once its finished.

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Hope For a Full Season


The Christmas Tree represents hope that our season will last over Christmas. Hope that school won't get cancelled so we can compete instead of having a robot for no reason. This is important because I wouldn't be able to use my imagination and I won't have something to look forward to. I won't be able to see my friends at robotics or make goofy things out of vex peices. I want it to last over Christmas because my Christmas will be bland and not interesting and I won't be able to think about robotics. My school is threading to close school entirely if we...

Cabinet of Cool


This photo reminds me of when I took STEM in 7th grade. We would store our robots inside it, and we still do! The robot in the middle is the one my partner and I built. (The skittles? That's a bonus to this class. We get them when we help out/ do really well!) I'm calling this picture the cabinet of cool because...well, it's exactly what it sounds like! We don’t store only robots in this cabinet , we store things for STEAM projects, like balsa wood for the balsa wood towers! This cabinet was one of the first things I saw when I joined this class, so that's why I...

Shirts of Time


Robotics makes me feel excited, but this year because of the COVID-19 it makes me feel sad. I can’t see my friends except when online. I hope that Coronavirus comes to an end because lots of people are dying. Being safe is more important than being outside. Robotics taught me to help each other first. My picture is of robotics t shirts of the past because it was fun, and exciting, but I was nervous too. I feel nervous about COVID 19 too!


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New Season, New Pit - Vex in Covid

Murad Malik:)

This is team 8838D's photography challenge submission. Our photo shows the ups and downs of robotics in the era of Covid-19.


New Season, New Pit - Vex in COVID

The VEX world championship was canceled. However, through VEX's ingenuity, we now have virtual tournaments, preserving the competitiveness and legacy of VEX. This pit evolved to COVID safety standards as such. We have sanitizer, gloves, and Clorox, cleaning between builds, with many other precautionary measures like masks. The pen, metal pieces, and laptop represent the season, with a...

Outside the box TEAM 38298B


This picture describes the feeling of disappointment, distress, and embarrassment during our STEM robot competition. In this scene, our STEM robot was dropped in the middle of a teams driving competition shattering our hopes of winning the competition. The feeling of our robot splitting in half was distressful for me and for our team. We chose this photo because it conveyed the most emotion in our whole experience with our STEM robot in our 2019-2020 year.

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Friends Make Robots


This picture shows my teammates’ unique personalities in their everyday lives. Even though we are all different, we have the robot in common. I joined the Robotics team as a freshman and these girls have become some of my best friends. Vex Robotics has brought us together in a way no other club would. One of my favorite memories was when my team got ice cream after a competition. We laughed and talked as friends, not just as teammates. When I think of Vex Robotics during this pandemic, I think of my teammates, they have my back when I need it. 

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TEAM 38298C thinking outside the box


Thinking Outside the Box Photography Challenge For my Thinking Outside the Box Challenge, I took a picture of my Cosmo robot. Everything about it is STEM. Cosmo is an advanced robot. Its engineering makes me think of STEM and the VEX IQ robots. It also has advanced coding, which reminds me of my programmer job on the VEX IQ team. Cosmo also has sensors, which remind me of the sensor project I did for VEX IQ. Last the joy I felt when I got Cosmo reminds me of how happy I was to be selected to be in my school’s STEM class. Cosmo Joy Droid 

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Gamer Boy


This picture was when there was no COVID. I was happy, excited and grateful. I now have to do online school. Honestly, I feel sad and I miss school. I used this picture because it makes me feel happy. Robotics makes me feel happy, but robotics is different this year like the picture.

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when i look at this picture with the end of the year award I think that thsi year has been a great year so far with many fun experiments to come.

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Trash Frogs


What does this photo mean to me?  This photo shows me and my team/friends it reflects team work and trust on are team this reflects what are team is and what it represents are team represents who we are trash frogs is a name that I will remember forever. Every single person on this team have special work to do like me I do challenges and I help a little on building everyone is working together and is looking over each other we help each other as much as we can and go to the edge. I think are team is gonna make it through any challenge they throw at us and that's what this...





These wires are flooding out like a tornado just came through. In this photo there is a ton of wires coming out of the power box. They are exploding out of the power box.  Wires make me feel like I have power. They remind me of plugging in and powering on my computer. When I plug in my computer it reminds...