The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation sees a future where all students design and innovate as part of a team, experience failure, persevere, and embrace STEM. These lifelong learners emerge confident in their ability to make the world a better place.
As part of that mission, we offer Online Challenges to encourage students from around the world to continue learning beyond the competition field!
Participants expand on STEM skills, stay engaged with their teams, and showcase their work through a variety of Online Challenges topics. The wide variety of available projects helps students build valuable workforce readiness skills like time management, project management, research, CAD design, graphic design, video production, documentation, and community engagement.
Online Challenges are open to registered REC Foundation competition teams from elementary school through college. Students submit challenges, compete for top prizes, and gain experience and recognition they can take with them into their future careers.
A slate of Online Challenges is announced each season in early October, and each season includes a mix of old and new challenges. Past seasons' challenges have included essays, research projects, poster design, video production, CAD design, electronics projects, and other creative endeavors. All work is done by students, and submissions are judged by community volunteers.
Finalists and Winners for each challenge are eligible for prizes, which range from gift certificates to paid entries to the next VEX World Championship!
When do challenges open?
The annual REC Foundation Online Challenges are announced in October, and are generally open for submissions through early January. Judging begins in February, and winners are announced in mid-March.
Can international teams enter?
The REC Foundation Online Challenges are open to registered VEX IQ, VRC, VEX U, Aerial Drone Competition, and Bell AVR teams around the world.
Can we participate in multiple online challenges?
Yes, teams are allowed to participate in multiple Online Challenges, but teams are only allowed ONE submission per challenge.
Can TSA teams participate in Online Challenges?
Teams must be a registered VEX IQ, VRC, VEX U, Aerial Drone Competition, or Bell AVR team to compete. If the TSA team is ALSO a paid and registered VRC team, they may enter submissions. If they are only registered as a TSA team, then they are not eligible to participate in Online Challenges.
If you choose to include images or recordings of people in your Online Challenge submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary permission and releases from the individuals depicted and must be able to provide copies of those releases to the REC Foundation upon request. If those individuals are minors, permission and releases must be obtained from the subjects’ legal guardians.
The following submissions, and inclusions in submissions, are ineligible:
- Photos or videos that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright and photographs of persons without the necessary consent required by law in your jurisdiction. The REC Foundation reserves the right to require entrants to submit evidence of the subject’s legal consent to be photographed or recorded for the submitted photograph or video, which may include a signed waiver from the subject or the subject’s legal guardian.
- Photos or recordings that contain sexually explicit, nude, obscene, violent, or other objectionable or inappropriate content.
- Images created by or with the assistance of generative artificial intelligence tools.
- Images or recordings that involve putting any individual or animal in danger.
Intellectual Property Rights
Your submissions help the REC Foundation further our mission. You will retain all rights to any material you submit, including ownership if applicable. The REC Foundation will endeavor to credit all submissions with the appropriate team number when used in part or in whole.
By submitting entry for an REC Foundation Online Challenge, you grant the REC Foundation and its related entities such as existing and/or potential sponsors and partners a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive right in perpetuity to use any part of the submission for any purpose, including but not limited to:
- Display of all or part of the submission on REC Foundation websites.
- Allowing third parties, including but not limited to REC Foundation partners, sponsors, and individuals, to share all or part of the submission on social media.
- Use of all or part of the submission on the Internet and in social media in support of the REC Foundation mission.
- Use of all or part of the submission in the REC Foundation’s and related entities’ internal and external communications and marketing materials including but not limited to web sites and web publications, fact sheets, fundraising publications, advertising, multimedia, displays, presentation and membership services, annual report, and newsletters.
- Providing all or part of the submission to other individuals and organizations for REC Foundation- and related entities’-related use in news stories, social media, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, videos, and the like.
- Retaining a digital copy of your submission that will be archived in the REC Foundation Online Challenge system and accessible through RobotEvents.com.