In fact, FIRST is not the only competitive robotics league in which a local team is excelling. Green MacHHHHine, a robotics club for Mountain View, Homestead and home-schooled high school students, is gearing up to head to Anaheim for the VEX Robotics World Championship on April 13.
Green MacHHHHine — whose H-heavy name comes thanks to the group's affiliation with the 4-H youth organization — visited the VEX championship last year, as well.
VEX competitions are structured differently than a FIRST tournament. The Green MacHHHHine team's robot will play a different game than the FIRST robots do; and the robots are required to perform in an assortment of side challenges and tests.
As in FIRST, high schoolers participating in VEX learn a great deal about engineering and are also encouraged to learn web design and other 21st century skills, such as video editing. The Green MacHHHHine team was awarded $750 for placing first in a contest to see who could produce the best VEX educational video — a short film, which teaches a robotics concept.