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.


Competition Fun with Raisins


Having a fun time before a competition by showing an unnecessary amount of raisins.

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214F Thinking Outside The Box


This Photo shows thinking outside the box by a figure standing outside of a box with a question mark above him. The question mark shows him thinking, so he is Thinking outside the box.

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I used the hashtag to represent positivity around the robotics community.  I love hashtags and robotics.  Go huskies!!!

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This is a picture of our robot. We have rebuilt it several times and this is our end result. Our robot has been something that we have struggled with for a very long time. The team is almost all new to robotics so really have to improvise with what we have. So me and my friend Ewen who did robotics last year have been working on the robot nonstop trying to clean it all up. The wheelbase was definitely the easiest part and we had no struggles with that. The claw on the other hand has not been working at all. Although we still have a long way to go we are still making progress on the...

Hard at Work


Two of the most important things I have learned from VEX robotics is that practice is key, and that no one can do it by themselves. My picture depicts each member of the team doing his or her designated roll to build a competitive, competition ready robot. This picture may not be as dramatic as an amazing skills run, or as exciting as a competition win. But for what it lacks in excitement it makes up for in truth. The truth is that you can not have an amazing skills run without hardwork, and you can not have a competition win without excellent team work.

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8838E - Where It All Started

Robohawks- Coach Lund

Entrant: Sana Vosoughi 

Team: 8838E (VRC Middle School)

In this photo we can see Mrs. Lund, she is my robotics teacher. She reminds me of my experience with VEX because she was the first person to introduce robotics and VEX to me. I had seen and heard about it before, but not very specific. I always talked about robotics with my friends but that was it, until I met her. She told me all about robotics and the things I needed to know. When I see her, all of the memories I had about robotics and VEX come to my mind and I see...

8838B- Nostalgia

Robohawks- Coach Lund

The reason I choose this picture is because of what my robotics shirt symbolizes to me It brings back so many amazing memories of competition, building, and working with my team. It reminds me of why robotics is so much fun and exciting. It reminds me of how stressful it can be because of the intensity of competition and unpredictability of each match. It makes me think about how the experience is such a big part of robotics. Whether it’s your first-time at Worlds or State or it’s just your first tournament, it is truly something to remember.

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Different But United


This picture reminded me of robotics because it shows different kinds cogs (different kinds of people) working together to move in one motion (move with one goal). In this all of the cogs are treated as equals and are all excepting of each other (just like how robotics is).

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8838C - Water Bottles and Robotics

Robohawks- Coach Lund

As strange as it seems, my experience at the VEX IQ World Championship can be plausibly compared to water bottles. Each competitor at Worlds can be represented as a water bottle. As different brands of water bottles have different features, different robotics members have different talents and experiences. Walking through Worlds, anyone would be able to notice the incredible passion that brings such a diverse community together. From all over the globe, the top percentile get to work and compete with each other in a country known as the “melting pot,” famous for its...

8838B - Child Like Curiosity

Robohawks- Coach Lund

The photo above represents a child’s growth and curiosity in engineering. A child embarks on their journey of building by starting off with Legos, hence the Lego crane. These Legos set the fundamental building blocks for the rest of their educational path. Once these children work their way out of this phase they got their hands-on tools, hence the toolbox. These tools are a rite to a new phase of learning, as they upgrade plastic into metal. Once they have built their objects, they get curious about wiring, hence the electric car. This is the building cycle of a...

Competing against COVID-19


This photo displays a culmination of our hard work and dedication competing against not only our opponents but COVID-19. After days of work through zoom, we completed a robot that we were genuinely happy with. We understand that this is just the beginning, and there is no promise that it will become any easier. Shortly after the picture was taken, we went on to the semifinals of this competition, a nice reward for all our hard work. We hope that our endeavors in robotics will continue even in these challenging times, allowing us to improve our STEM skills.

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The Sum of Many Parts


Encapsulating the great sense of pride and accomplishment felt when seeing our initial idea finally come into fruition, this picture captures each step of the process that led to the finished product. From the initial concept CAD, to the prototypes, to the many messes made along the way, and finally the actual robot, everything we love about robotics finds expression through this one photo. 

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From the Ground Up


This is a photo of 82050A’s robot from the 2020 season before going into lockdown. Despite unprecedented circumstances, our team managed to accomplish many extraordinary things such as ranking top 35 in all of the events we competed in and qualifying for provincials for the first time. The team really came together last year to create the best robot possible despite all the hardships that we had to face, in the end we were able to persevere. This robot was built from the ground up, representing teamwork, determination, resilience and creativity from our hardworking team....

Electromagnetic Newton's Cradle


This is the Thinking Outside the Box entry for team 71251B (the entire team helped with the challenge). The photograph was taken by Bravery Mailat-Foley. 

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Sensational Sentiments


The moment of our first win. This picture captures various emotions of distinct teammates. I personally had many different feelings inside which was a moment of utmost joy along with nervousness, excitement, and many others that I could not name. The first time I ever cried out of happiness. I remember as I was walking back to my seat, I could not stop shivering or hold on to my tears. Making this picture one of the most memorable pictures. Looking at it now this picture portrays the payoff of the struggles my team had overcome to for this glorious moment.

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The Badge


The photo that makes me remember my experience with vex robotics is the driver team badge that I got when I was in 5th grade. The memories I built all started with the badge the first time I got to experience a win that took us all the way to national and sadly even though we did not win to go to world it was still an impactful experience and also the moment I realized that robotics was something I wanted to continue to grow in and even helped me choose the career I plan to major in the future.


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New Normal


This photo represents the “new normal” that we have experienced this year --our perseverance to continue meeting virtually over the summer months, our determination to invent new strategies to build and design our robot safely, and the pure joy that we all experience from competing in VEX robotics. Though we were wearing masks and face shields, we smiled internally as we entered our first tournament of the 2020-21 VEX Robotics season.  While this “new normal” has been difficult, it has resulted in a stronger, more resilient team: 2657A-The Sandpiper...

The Joys of Robotics


The image provided is an amazing reflection of robotics and the intriguing creations that come from it. The controller used is from an Xbox game console, which is considered a "fun" activity, and the entirety of the system is composed of circuits and wiring, both of which are commonly used in engineering and robotics. This controller is a perfect example of how robotics is a fun and creative activity.

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Vex Robotics Diaries


This is the "Thinking Outside The Box" Photography Challenge. 

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The photo is a photo of game pieces used to spell out "rise." The idea is from its name, the robot is holding up a game piece because it is rising it.

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Selfies with Every Team


     VEX Robotics is all about teamwork, within our own team, with our alliance partners, and more broadly, with the STEM community as a whole.  At each competition we attended last year, we asked our alliance partners or opponents if we could take a selfie with them as a fun way to break the ice and remember the day.  Now that we are unable to compete in-person, we cherish the friendships we made with other robotics teams even more, as we hope to see them at competitions again soon.

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phalanges on robots.


This is me and the class skeleton. We are in fright because of COVID. Keeping our craniums focused and our phalanges on robots. COVID will affect this year very much. There is a big robotics program at Hamilton Heights and we WANT our season. We have been working very hard on robots and this complex game, trying to figure it out. I chose this because my team qualified for worlds last year and couldn’t go. We were all disappointed after because we double qualified at state. COVID made all of us in “fright” because we knew we had  a small chance at going to...

Game On


Though we have the larger board, COVID challenges and various team members being quarantined, the team is working to "rise above" all challenges.   Isaiah Bass and team 141A are ready to roll the dice, make their move and play to win!

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