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

VIQC Elementary School - STEM Research Project

Mathematics in Nature -  Math is everywhere around us.  For this challenge, explore nature’s patterns and use that knowledge to inspire new ideas. How can you use this inspiration from nature to engineer a new solution to a current problem?

Math is everywhere, but it’s sometimes hard to find, so be creative!

Remember that mathematics is much more than numbers!

  • Geometrical shapes,

  • patterns or sequences,

  • formulas,

  • tessellations,

  • fractals,

  • and many other things!




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


10 winners: Automatic team qualification for this season's VEX Robotics World Championship

A set of winners will be selected at each of the following programs and grade ranges, for a total of two (2) prize packages:

  • VEX IQ Elementary School

  • VEX IQ Middle School


Teams must be part of a registered VIQC team for the current season.

  • This page is for VIQC Elementary School enteries only -if you are any other program or grade level, please refer to the Online Challenge Page to find the correct page for your program and grade level.

  • 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. Entries must vary in content and presentation to be considered separate entries. 

  • Entries submitted in previous years’ Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.


Rules of the Challenge

How can you use the mathematical patterns found in nature to solve a problem? Identify a problem that interests you, then brainstorm and research ways that nature’s mathematical patterns can be used to solve the problem. Use the Engineering design process to imagine or create a prototype solution that mimics these patterns. Organize your project, summarize your research, and present it all in a video. You can present the information in any way you want, as long as you combine audio and video to share your research project.

Things to keep in mind for a successful submission:

  • Involve all team members in the project.
  • What existing problem can you use nature’s patterns to help solve? Why did you choose this problem?
  • How many ways can you think of to solve your problem with nature’s mathematical patterns? Do any current solutions exist? Which one did your team choose to develop?
  • Imagine or create a prototype and describe or show it to us.
  • What are the sources you used for your project research? Are they reliable?

Technical Details

A submission must meet these minimum requirements to be judged.

  1. Video is created and produced solely by student team members. It is acceptable for adults to help with the technical aspects of creating and submitting a video to YouTube, and adults are encouraged to assist in completing any task that would be difficult or inappropriate for students in their age group.
  2. Format: One link to a video file posted on YouTube, SchoolTube, Youku, or equivalent video-streaming platform. Links to Google Drive, Dropbox, or other storage locations are not acceptable.
  3. Size: Up to 4 minutes, including title, credits, and any other content.
  4. Credits:  Each video must include:
    • Title of submission
    • Names of students who participated (using first names only is acceptable)
    • Team number 
    • Location of team
  5. Music must be in the public domain.

Upload Instructions

Click the green Enter Challenge button on the right side of the screen.

  • Fill out the submission form and type a brief description of your challenge entry in the Full Description box.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the blue Links/Videos button in the upper right of the screen.
  • Enter the URL, title, and description of your video.
  • Click Add Link.

Judging Information

  • Up to 15 points for using a mathematical pattern found in nature to create a solution to an existing problem
  • Up to 15 points for identifying an existing problem and describing why it was chosen

  • Up to 15 points for brainstorming possible solutions, identifying any existing solutions, and selecting a solution

  • Up to 15 points for presenting a sketched, CAD, or physical prototype

  • Up to 15 points for using and identifying a variety of reliable research sources

  • Up to 15 points for good video editing, including the structure and presentation of all material

  • Up to 15 points for music and/or sound that is clear, appropriate, and well-balanced

  • Up to 15 points for a project that is easily understood, clearly presented, creative, and enjoyable to watch

Deadline Information

Current time:
Wed, Jul 24, 2024 7:49 AM CDT


Mon, Dec 5, 2022 12:00 AM CST


Fri, Jan 13, 2023 2:00 PM CST