VEX Robotics Competition Coming to Northland

On Jan. 9, 2016, Northland Community & Technical College is hosting the Dream It Do It Northwest Minnesota VEX Robotics Tournament in Thief River Falls, Minn. Forty area high school teams have been busy preparing robots for the Thief River Falls tournament. The list of local teams competing at NCTC include: Mahnomen, Kittson Central, Lancaster, Grygla, Warren Alvarado Oslo, Red Lake Falls, Badger, Win-E-Mac, Marshall County, Fosston, Fisher, East Grand Forks, Goodridge, Ada, and Thief River Falls.

The event will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the NCTC gym. The best time to watch the action unfold will be between 1p.m. until 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

“We want to show students the possibilities of electronics technology and robotics, and this event is a great way to reach out to high school students,” said Electronics Technology instructor Andrew Dahlen.

This year the VEX Robotics Competition challenge is called Nothing But Net. Robots score points in the Nothing But Net challenge by gathering and launching foam rubber balls into a net. Each match is played with four robots on a 12’ x 12’ competition field where the bots are trying to score the most points in two minute’s time. Tournament finalists and champions receive an invitation to the Minnesota State Championship in St. Cloud.

Teams receive a robotics kit at the beginning of the year and it is up to them to design their vehicle based on their knowledge of robotic principles. The vehicles are set to function either on a set program or by use of a remote control and the competition tests both in timed rounds.

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing robotics competition in the world. There are more than 12,000 teams from 32 countries playing in over 1000 tournaments. Minnesota is home to 157 VEX Robotics Teams.

“The public is welcome to attend the free event and we encourage any interested schools to bring students over for the day to see the event,” added Dahlen.

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.