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.


Aluminum Falcons - "Thinking Outside The Box"...


This is our "Thinking Outside The Box" Photography Challenge entry. Our robot this year is very unique because unlike most robots ours has a flywheel with a very good range. We hope to make it to worlds this year.

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airplanes and robotics


I chose airplanes as my photography challenge. Airplanes remind me of robotics because of how they are always there and how they seem to do the impossible when it’s not magic, just science. Also within an airplane there are hundreds of different components that all have to work together to accomplish their goals just like in vex IQ. The pilots have to always make sure they stay on course and not let the plane crash, just like robotics keeps changing and adapting to new situations. This is why I decided to use airplanes as my photography challenge.


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A Collection of Emotions


Although robotics has many ups and downs, I still embrace all aspects of it. Each letter on the A-Z keyboard corresponds to a word beginning with that same letter (on colored label) that represents/describes robotics from my perspective. My hand is about to hit the letter “G” on the keyboard to finish the pangram, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, showing that I am typing. Each letter in the pangram represents my corresponding word on the colored label. The pangram is in a heart to represent me loving both the positives and negatives of...


Thinking outside of the Box - Photography...


Working on electronics such as a car it’s a challenge to the mind but a fun exhilarating experience it helps with discipline in the basics of robotics building it doesn’t take much force to connect any of the pieces if your good at puzzles then this is the job for you. The benefits of working on cars consist of a lot. The need for Mechanic is kind of like the need for doctors – everyone everywhere will always need them.

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8838C - Inspiration

Robohawks- Coach Lund

In the Zone was the first robotics competition that I went to and saw live. I was lucky that robotics was offered in elementary school, but I was hesitant to sign up. However, as soon as I captured this photo, I realized this was the definition of hard work and determination. In an auditorium with attention on the robot, I wanted to try robotics. After fulfilling that goal, my determination was tested, but I improved my communication. I won awards with my team and worked under pressure. Watching my sister was the inspiration to try new things, including competitive...

Steve The Cube


Our Vex inspired version of the companion cube from the game Portal. isn't he cute?

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Volunteers Hold the Attention


What reminds me of robotics? My assistant coach, who also happens to be my dad. He was the one who has encouraged me to join robotics every year that I could. He reminds me of all the times he helped to be a beacon of encouragement to all the teams. My dad always was there to give a team pointers on what they could do to always be better than they already were. All of these things help me to remember how fun and exciting robotics could be.


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A Complete Kit

10142 Green Tigers

Our team is called the Manoa Green Tigers. Last year, to show team unity, my team members and I all wore tiger headbands. So for me, our robotics kit wasn't complete unless it included our tiger headband. It made me feel connected to my teammates, as well as my school. I still wear it this year, even though we’re not all on the same team. It makes me feel proud of the work we did and it inspires me to try hard again this year.

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The Engine


Like a robot’s cortex, the engine is the most vital component of an automobile. Although we aren’t able to drive yet, robotics gave us an opportunity to build and control a moving object that could perform specific tasks. By working together with the programmers as a team, we created a robot with the hardware and software to mimic a car’s function and learned key principles of robotics along the way. In our increasingly technological world, building something as fascinating as a VEX robot may as well enable us to soon create something as complex as a...

A Bond Beyond


Not too long ago, my team and I were working in this garage, scrambling to learn the basics of VEX as a first-year team. This year, despite the unpredictable troubles COVID-19 has brought, we remained strong. To ensure our safety, our team has resorted to Zoom calls instead of in-person builds; while it has impacted our efficiency at executing our tasks (especially for building), our bond as a team has only grown stronger. Despite being stuck at home, our friendships grew. Thus, beyond our boxes of comfort, our drive, our motivation, our team, our bond blossoms.

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VEX Memory


VEX MEMORY: This photo reminds me of my time with VEX IQ because when I was going to start doing VEX IQ last year, COVID-19 came and I wasn’t able to do VEX in my classroom. So, my teacher instructed us to use VEX VR and code the robot to draw things.

Angel Alvarez


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Thomas The Tank Engine


The toy that reminds me that robotics is more than just something to stress over.

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Robotics in the Wild


Over the summer (in compliance with local restrictions), we masked up and met on the patio instead of in the basement. The whiteboard is the same one we've used since before I joined the team, symbolizing how the most important part of VEX - the collaboration on a challenge - hasn't changed. However, the whiteboard is in its non-natural habitat, as seen by the flowers, trees, and general outdoor greenery in place of walls and ceilings, showing that everything can adapt to a new situation. I love that the sky is clearing after a thunderstorm, reminding us that things can always...

Bonding with Boba


At the end of each long competition day, we’d go for celebratory boba. No matter how good or bad we did, no matter which robot we built, we’d all celebrate together. We celebrated our hard work, our perseverance, our spirit, and our bond. It was truly inspiring to see so many girls break stereotypes day after day, and no matter what, they’d still have the heart to put someone else’s accomplishments above their own. Now every time I have bubble tea, I remember all those memories. From nights at the lab, to competitions, to outreach, we always supported our...

Team skills


A driver skills run taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, while we are still working together as a team but taking safety precautions such as wearing masks. Our passion for robotics has not kept our team apart even during the COVID-19 pandemic and we are still practicing our teamwork during skills runs. 

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Sharing Your Happiness Can Bring More Supportive


This photo shoot by iPhone XS and crop as a square size for uploading in Instagram. This year, our team try to upload different thing in this challenge, no more robot. Try to think more special and remarkable thing in our VEX journey. Hope everything like me works.  

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Despite the challenges faced, we do not stop!


VEX robotics competitions allows me to increase my knowledge and skills in robotics challenges. Today, I can perform tasks that I never thought of. I have learned to build a robot, draw in CAD, drive the robot, and even make autonomous. I also encouraged other girls to join the club. I am proud and thankfully of 2250C team. Despite the challenges faced, we do not stop. Although the pandemic did not allow us to travel or get close together, we are proud to show our VEX World Championship awards. We are carrying our robot and prepare for the new adventure.

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Our Milestones


This photo shoot by SONY A7 III with SIGMA 24-105mm and crop as a rectangle size. Our team try to upload different thing in this year challenge, do not upload robot design photo. It is because robot phot cannot express our team spirit. Therefore, we try to think more special and remarkable photo in our VEX journey. Hope everyone like me works.  

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A Meeting From Our Perspective


Here, we are having our daily meetings where we talk about our robot or online challenges. This is how we do meetings during the pandemic, with sanitizers, masks, and tools on the desk. Everyone really enjoys this meeting because even though we all have different responsibilities within the team, we believe that it is crucial to share our ideas and opine. We think that is what makes VRC so special, it shows us many different areas to work on so we can start thinking about our future while collecting so many memories and having so much fun with our team!

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Throughout the year, before competitions, we usually hold a meeting on the final Friday night before the competition and perfect our robot while munching on some breadsticks.

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The Significance of the Wrench Description


Attatched is the description for the image.

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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...

A Novel Perspective with VEX


2020 is my first year in Robotics and VEX alone with my friends. We are still beginners in the subject; nevertheless, we copiously incorporate the importance of trails-and-failures. The photo demonstrates the concept of structure and balance, which is one of the understandings that I learn from the trails-and-failures. Glancing at the picture, I never considered the equilibrium and sustainability in the structure before joining. It is VEX that presents me with a new perspective of the world. I realize the significances of each nail, pivot, and measurement that contribute to my daily...

How People can Solve the Same Problem With...


All of the robotics teams taking part are presented with the same challenge by the Vex Robotics Foundation and challenged with creating a solution to solve this problem as efficiently as possible. As shown in the picture, all of the teams in my class have created their own differing designs in order to complete this task. The fact that no individual robot is entirely the same represents the entire concept of engineering as people build an design ideas and create solutions to new problems, portraying the concept of innovation through the process of using knowledge to present a new...

The Powerful PC


Just like a robot, a PC is composed of a complex system of interconnected parts that work together to perform a task. As a robotics team, each member/part is a vital key to the performance of the whole. Our captain may be the CPU, but without the other components, the PC may not as well be a PC. This year in robotics has been a major learning point for us as a collective team because we realized that each and every member's voice matters. 

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Capturing all aspects of Robotics in one image


This picture reminds me of the various parts of Robotics. It includes a laptop which represents the coding aspect. The carrots and sunglasses remind me of the competitions we used to have; the food and traveling to new places was very engaging. We had the opportunity to meet new and interesting people. The screw reminds me of the building aspect which demonstrated our engineering skills.  The overarching message of this picture is that various skills and ideas all come together to form robotics. 

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Evan Gosselin - 14012V - Pinecrest Lakes Academy

In this collage, these are some memories made in last years competition. This was one of my favorite years in Vex IQ and I'm really excited to make more memories this year 

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Journey to Worlds


This is my brother and I walking to the Kentucky expo center two years ago when we were a two person team that made it all the way to worlds and placed third in our division and eleventh in the world. The emotions that we were feeling were mainly nervousness, excitement to be at worlds, and desire to come back for years to come. We were a homeschool team that was traveling the U.S. We had half a field and twelve rings, for the ringmaster game. So to be able to get that far shows that nothing is impossible.This is my brother and I walking to the Kentucky expo center two years ago...

What it Takes to Be a Part of Robotics


When you look at this image, you may see a metal replica of the Opportunity mars rover. However, if you look again and think hard, it would remind you of robotics in a way that shows an emphasis on the idea of teamwork. To build a complex semi-autonomous robot-like Opportunity, you would know that many thousands of engineers have to put time and effort into building such a machine. In our school robotics team, teamwork is a fundamental concept that is necessary to achieve technological advancements. The final robot carries the personality of each team member.

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