Back to experiences near me


VEX IQ Challenge

Get involved in the world's largest robotics competition and bring your students STEM skills to life!

VEX IQ Challenge

The VEX IQ Challenge brings STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Using a VEX IQ robotics kit the team create a robot that meets the demands of the game that year in a mix of fully autonomous and student driver-controlled matches. They also present their Engineering Notebook to a panel of judges who will look "under the hood" of the robot, the team and the whole design process.

Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the local, regional and national levels that culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship each April! All of the resources that the students and teachers/mentors need are available on our website accessible by all.

Every tournament is supported by a team of volunteers along with the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Regional Support Manager. STEM Ambassadors can work with teams to support teachers and also judge at events to give inspiration and guidance to attendees. The competition is open to all including school teams, clubs, independent teams. Support is available for entry with grants. 

Students in the teams learn a range of skills they can apply and develop both in school and as they move into further and higher education and, ultimately, a career.


Minimum of 2 participants, maximum of 30 participants.


There is an annual registration fee of £100+VAT for the season. Teams require a robotics kit to build with, this is available from VEX Robotics and can be used year-on-year, so it's not an annual fee. Teams can attend as many qualification events as they wish.

Grants are available throughout the season, you can find more information on this on our website.

Dates & Location

Regional events will be added regularly throughout the season and will be listed on Neon as well as our website. There will be approximately 40 events across the UK.


The season runs all year. Teams can attend as many events as they wish during that season. Teams will typically meet weekly (or fortnightly early in the season) after school or during lunchtimes. This frequency can increase closer to events. The programme is designed to be student-led so work can take place away from school by students. A typical team will spend a minimum of 6 sessions prior to an event working and developing their robot, but the team may spend as much additional time as they wish in preparation for an event

COVID-19 Response

The REC Foundation has implemented a number of changes to the competition and added additional ways to compete so students don't miss out despite the impact of COVID-19.

Additional Online Challenges, Remote Skills Events and Remote Competition are all new for this season and allow teams to continue to develop their robots and knowledge even while they are not able to meet in-person. When in-person events are possible, increased guidance for organisers means events will be COVID secure due to changes to the rules and structure of events.


Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • Design/Art/Fashion
    • Electronics/Robotics/Programming
    • Materials/Products/Manufacturing
    • Sport/Fitness
    • Structures/Construction/Civil Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering/Systems/Processes

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Encounters with further and higher education

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming High - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem Solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

  • Staying Positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

We would love to read all about your time with this experience!

Log in to write a testimonial

Network Rail STEM Lab

Interact with our employees and engage in a range of STEM-related activities linked to the rail industry.

  • Ages 5 to 16
  • Offsite - Milton Keynes
  • Up to 1 day
  • Free

IET Faraday Challenge Day

Give students the opportunity to research, design and make prototype solutions to real engineering problems.

  • Ages 12 to 13
  • In-school
  • 1 day
  • Free

FIRST Tech Challenge

The UK’s most epic STEM enrichment programme for young people*. We're not building robots, we're building the future.
*as voted by robots


  • Ages 12 to 18
  • In-school
  • 1 hour a week +
  • Cost may apply

Careers resources