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.


VRC Game Design Animation Challenge

Create an animated video that shows and explains a new VEX Robotics Competition game. 


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: 2016 VRC Game Design Animation Award, $750 gift certificate and automatic team qualification for the 2016 VRC World Championship if the entrant is part of a registered VRC, VEX U or VEX IQ Challenge middle school team
  • 2nd: $500 gift certificate
  • 3rd: $250 gift certificate


Entrant grade range: middle school, high school, university

VEX competition team requirement: Does not have to be a team entry


These are the minimum requirements for this challenge. The “Evaluation” section below will provide additional guidance on how your project will be judged. Failure to fulfill any of these requirements may result in your entry being disqualified from advancing to Finalist or Winner status.

  • A YouTube video showing the game that is no more than 3:15 (195 seconds) long with up to an extra 15 seconds at the end for credits.
  • The video must not be live action.
  • The credits must include the software or other techniques used in creating the submission, the name(s) of the creator(s), and the VEX Robotics program team number, if any.
  • Designs submitted in previous Online Challenges are not eligible for submission this year.

Judging Information

Judges will select at least ten finalists from the submitted entries, and will take community voting results into account in making their choices in selecting finalists.

The finalist submissions will then be judged by additional selected professionals whose scores will be combined with the preliminary-round judges’ scores to determine the winner of the Game Design Animation Challenge.


Evaluation and Additional Information

  • Rather than a challenge object restriction, this year there is a “STEM theme” challenge requirement. Your entry needs to incorporate a principle of mathematics or physics in a meaningful way in the scoring and game play of your entry. This might make use of limits, Fibonacci series, mechanical advantage, discrete mathematics, ballistics, Boolean logic or anything else you can think of that falls within the bounds of math or physics.  The best games will require the participants to understand the underlying mathematical and physics principles involved to be successful at the game.
  • Your game makes significant use of mathematics and/or physics, and not just a trivial application. For example, calculating the score using addition would not constitute the application of a mathematical principle, and throwing a ball is not a significant use of a physics principle. In this context, “significant” means that playing the game would not be possible without the teams’ learning about the underlying math and/or physics.
  • Instructions for your video. These items should all be present, but you do NOT have to present them in this order, except for the title screen, which must be first, and the credits, which must be last.
    • Start with a title screen and introduction that states the name of the game
    • Show and explain the scoring objects and field objects (goals, ramps, barriers, obstacles, etc.) in the game
    • Demonstrate the game being played, explaining and/or showing important game dynamics, rules and penalties
    • Show how a demo match would be scored and show who would win
    • Explicitly describe the mathematical and/or physics principle involved in your game
    • The 15-second credits at the end must include the VEX team number (if any), and the software used to create and edit the video (if any). You may include other information if you would like.
  • Any animation method may be used, including computer-generated images (CGI), claymation, stop motion or hand-crafted art. Traditionally this is a CGI contest, but we are always interested in other creative approaches. You may NOT use video of live action – remember this is an animation contest!
  • The video should well-produced and exhibit good editing, animation techniques, and use of music and narration. 
  • The game should be playable, interesting, and incorporate the challenge theme in a creative, interesting way.  It is a good game.


Tips for this challenge:

  • Remember – this both a game design AND an animation contest. The quality of your game and your animation are both evaluated by judges.
  • This should be a “real” VRC game. Remember that the game should be affordable, easily constructed by volunteers, not violate any laws of physics, have understandable rules and be interesting for participants.
  • Take time to make your animation look professional. In the past we have had some great games that suffered from being presented poorly.
  • Make sure your sound quality is good. Entries with hard-to-understand narration and muddy music do poorly with the judges.
  • You do not have to have 18” robots playing 2-minute matches putting balls into goals. Feel free to experiment with other game play ideas.
  • Your math and science teachers at school may be good resources when investigating possible games.

Deadline Information

Current time:
Mon, Jun 24, 2024 9:02 AM CDT


Wed, Sep 16, 2015 11:00 AM CDT


Wed, Jan 13, 2016 11:00 AM CST

Voting Ends:

Fri, Feb 5, 2016 10:59 AM CST