Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs. We see a future where all students design and innovate as part of a team, experience failure, persevere, and embrace STEM. These lifelong learners emerge confident in their ability to make the world a better place.


Theme It Up! Sponsored by the REC Foundation


Our Judges have begun to review all entries.  We plan to have finalists posted by Tuesday June 22nd and Winners announced by Tuesday June 29th.  Good luck teams.



Theme It Up! sponsored by the REC Foundation

Every year the new game is unveiled at VEX Worlds using a short video. In this video the basic game rules are explained, and game objects and scoring are defined. For some teams this is the highlight of the entire VEX Worlds experience! There is one thing missing though… a theme.

Your challenge is to give this year's game a theme.  Using the exact same rules and definitions, your team must create a story as to why the robots are competing on the field. This is your team's chance to 

  • give names to the game and field objects
  • give purpose to the scoring of those objects on the field
  • tell a story describing the reasons for victory

The Theme It Up! Online Challenge submission must include a storyboard, visuals, explanation as to why robots must meet objectives, and names of game/field objects. The theme must use all the same rules as in the current Game Manual.

Have fun and we look forward to seeing your creative themes!


Grade Level Requirements
Elementary School Middle School High School College / University No Grade Level Restrictions
Program Requirements
VEX IQ Robotics Competition VEX V5 Robotics Competition VEX U Robotics Competition


  • 1st place - $500 VEX Robotics Gift Certificate
  • 2nd place - $250 VEX Robotics Gift Certificate
  • 3rd place - $100 VEX Robotics Gift Certificate

The top 3 teams from each of the following divisions will be awarded the above prizes:

  • VEX IQ Elementary School,
  • VEX IQ Middle School,
  • VRC Middle Shool
  • VRC High School
  • VEX U

Total Prize Value: $4250


Grade Level Requirement - Entries can be from any of the following grade levels:

  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • College/University

Program Requirement - Entries can be from any of the following programs:

  • VEX IQ Challenge
  • VEX Robotics Competiton
  • VEX U 

Note: Only one entry per team is permitted. However, each team in a multi-team school or club program may submit one entry. For example, teams 123A and 123B could each submit an entry, but team 123A could not submit two entries. 


These are the minimum requirements for this challenge. The “Judging Information" section below will provide additional guidance on how your project will be judged.

Challenge Requirements:

  • VEX IQ teams must use Rise Up for this challenge
  • VRC and VEX U teams must use Change Up for this challenge
  • Create a theme without changing the game.  All aspects of the Game Manual must be followed, including all definitions and game rules
  • Create a Video to "unveil" the game with a theme.  The themed game unveil includes definitions, basic rule descriptions, visuals, and game interactions that incorporate the theme and the storyboard
  • Create a 500- 1000 word report that describes your storyboard, visuals, explanation as to why robots interact with scoring objects and field elements
  • Include text, sketches, drawings, and/or photographs of a real field your team transformed to include the theme-based elements
  • Additions to the current field that do not impede the current game are highly encouraged
  • Points are awarded to teams that design field additions to a level that is manufacturable (graphics, dimensions, attachment points, etc.).

Entries must:

  • Include a written report between 500-1000 words, in PDF format (maximum file size: 20MB)
  • Include a Video that can be up to two minutes (120 seconds) long
    • At the end of the video, there must be a credits section which includes the name of the entrant or entrants, team number, proper music credit if used, and any other information you want to include (software used, recognition of sponsors, etc.).
    • The credits should be no longer than 15 seconds (Total allowed video length is 2 minutes 15 seconds with credits included).
    • Credits must appear at the end, not the beginning of the video
    • Please note: you must use music in the public domain, or YouTube may delete your video. Include proper music credit
  • Be uploaded to the Online Challenges site during the submission process (detailed instructions below)
  • Videos must be posted to YouTube, SchoolTube, Youku, or an equivalent platform
  • Be original - Work submitted in previous or different Online Challenges may not be repurposed for this submission
  • Be appropriate - The theme and descriptions must be appropriate for all ages
  • Be completed by students.  Students should be the sole creators of this submission. It is acceptable for adults to assist with downloading any necessary resources or submitting the story where students may need permission

Instructions to upload your PDF:

  • Click the green Enter Challenge button on the right side of the screen 
  • Fill out the submission form and type your text in the Full Description box according to the Requirements for this challenge
  • Click Save
  • Click the blue Files/Images button in the upper right of the screen
  • Drag/Drop your PDF file into the Upload a File box
  • Be sure to edit the Display Name and file information according to the Requirements for this challenge
  • Save your edits and click Update on the entry screen
  • Your submission will now show when you click the blue All Entries button to view the challenge entries
  • Links to Google Drive, Dropbox, Sharepoint or any other site are not permitted

Instructions to add your video link to your entry:

  • Click the green Enter Challenge button on the right side of the screen.
  • Fill out the submission form and type your text in the Full Description box according to the Requirements for this challenge.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the blue Links/Videos button in the upper right of the screen.
  • Type in the YouTube link URL, Title and Description. Include all required information, or your link may not display correctly.
  • Click Add Link.
  • Your submission will now show when you click the blue All Entries button to view the challenge entries.

Caution: Failure to fulfill any of these requirements will result in your entry from advancing to Finalist judging

Judging Information

The judges will evaluate and score each entry as follows: 

  • Up to 20 points for Video Structure and Layout: The video “unveils” the game with a theme. The themed game unveil includes definitions, basic rule descriptions, visuals, and game interactions that incorporate the theme and the storyboard
  • Up to 30 points for written report that contains a storyboard, visuals, explanations as to why robots must meet objectives, and names of the game/field objects
  • Up to 10 points for a written presentation that is well structured and contains a clear beginning, middle and end.  The prose and quality of writing is at a high level.
  • Up to 10 points for a final product is creative, enjoyable to read/watch, well designed, and engaging


All Online Challenges entries may be shared or distributed by the REC Foundation after judging is completed.



Deadline Information

Current time:
Sat, May 18, 2024 11:40 AM CDT


Mon, Feb 8, 2021 7:00 AM CST


Wed, Jun 2, 2021 11:59 PM CDT