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STEM Competitions

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Inspiring the Future of STEM

Robotics inspires young minds to get into STEM and change the world.

We Do STEM Competitions

Providing opportunities to explore and refine technical skills and developing soft skills are key components of preparing students for careers in STEM. Research shows that students who participate in STEM competitions, like VEX Robotics, are more likely to pursue a STEM degree. Students who engage in robotics are introduced to engineering and computer science and demonstrate teamwork, collaboration, creativity in problem-solving, communication, critical-thinking skills, and time management.

VEX Robotics is integrated into many of the school divisions through PLTW, Scouts, and TSA, making it an excellent platform to get students started in STEM so that they are prepared beyond our camps and competitions. Robotics is an all-encompassing gateway to future STEM programs, degrees, and careers.

Community VEX Robotics Support

We support school divisions and community organizations that engage in VEX Robotics through Fab Lab programs, trailer rentals, and supporting signature robotics events at the state and national level. We host our own Nationwide competition, Night at the Museum (NATM) and offer support to the Virginia VEX State Championship.

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The NOVA Fab Lab will be open on Friday nights for VEX teams to scrimmage and work on their robots. A game field will be available along with space for teams to work.  

Start on September 17th and continues until the Virginia State VEX Championship.

VEX IQ Challenge (VIQC) - The 1st and 3rd Friday’s of the month - 5pm to 10pm

VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) - The 2nd and 4th Friday’s of the month - 5pm to 10pm

A one-time registration fee of $10 per participant is required for this recurring event (NOTE: Parental consent is required in the registration process as each participant needs to register - coaches cannot sign-up their entire team in one registration)  

Register at fablab.novastem.us/FridayNightRobotics

VEX Robotics Signature Events

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We operate signature robotics events at the local, state, and national levels. Three signature events we are known for our Night at the Museum, the VA VEX Robotics State Championship, and the Northern Virginia VEX IQ League

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We rent competition trailers: two 16ft VRC trailers and one 14ft VIQC trailer that are equipped to run a small to medium event. STEM Interns are available as optional extras to set up, run, and pack equipment. 

For questions and more information contact Aleksander Marthinussen at amarthinussen@nvcc.edu


Night at the Museum is a two-day VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) signature event at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA in January. Teams qualify for this event by winning the Excellence, Design, or Robot Skills awards or as Tournament Champions in regional competitions. 60 high school teams from around the nation will compete for 3 VEX World Championship spots later in the year.    

NATM Infographic Map
Check out our 2020 NATM national participation infographic here.

Photo Gallery
NATM20 Password: natm20
NATM19 Password: natm19

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We support the Virginia VEX Robotics State Championship, the culminating event in the Commonwealth that celebrates the hard work of students and mentors who have competed to qualify throughout the robotics competition season (November through February). States invites 140 of the best teams to compete for a chance to represent Virginia at the VEX World Championship in April. This is a great opportunity to reach students who are passionate about STEM!  

There are two VEX platforms at States, VIQC (plastic-based robots, elementary & middle school divisions) and VRC (metal-based robots, middle and high).