Robotics provides a fun, high-tech, engaging way to engage youth. 360 starts with their interest in robotics and connects participants to opportunities in manufacturing.
Supporting youth robotics programs
Through 360’s college partners, VEX Robotics kits are provided at no cost to Minnesota schools and organizations for VEX robotics teams. Faculty at partner colleges host scrimmages and small competitions at their colleges so students and their coaches can prepare for tournaments. They also get to see for themselves how manufacturing relates to robotics and learn about career pathways.
360 college partners also host tournaments, including a state tournament, where students compete for invitations to the World Championship. Industry is invited to participate at these events, including judging and displays.
Since 2006, 360 has:
- Provided kits to over 50 teams
- Reached over 2,000 students
- Hosted over 40 scrimmages and tournaments
Why VEX Robotics?
There are several great robotics programs available. 360 has worked with VEX Robotics because:
- Teams can work on their robots year-round
- Robotics kits are cost-effective (a starter kit is around $1,200) and can be used multiple years
- Project Lead the Way uses VEX Robotics in their curriculum
- It is designed to be a student-led activity
- It offers opportunities to participate from elementary school through college
Showing the connection to manufacturing careers
We use Dream It. Do It. Minnesota to highlight the connection between robotics and the career opportunities in manufacturing to youth and their parents and teachers.
In fact, after the 2013-2014 season:
- 63% of the participants said they were likely to consider a manufacturing career
- 71% indicated interest in manufacturing careers—an increase of 33% from how they felt before participating
- 84% of the adults surveyed felt manufacturing careers were “good”, a positive change of 36%
- 78% of adults felt youth were interested in manufacturing careers