Starting a VEX U Team


Your Team Engagement Manager (TEM) is your best friend as you compete with VEX. Reach out directly to them any time you have questions.

  • Look for Team Blast emails from your TEM and the REC Foundation.
  • Follow REC Foundation and VEX Social Media for the latest announcements.

To find your TEM, go to the Support Page and click on your region.

Develop Your Team

There is no maximum number of students who can participate on a robotics competition team. Students benefit most from a well-supported, hands-on learning experience, so identify the available resources and space when developing your team. If you have a lot of student interest, consider coordinating multiple teams. Once you've registered six VEX U teams in the same school/organization, there's no additional team registration fee until you grow to 23 teams or more.

  • VEX U Average Team Size: 4-10 students

For questions regarding Team and Student definitions, please reference the Game Manual for the current Game Challenge.

Equipment for Your Team

VEX U competitions allow for a variety of parts. Please consult the Game Manual for exact rules about robot parts and equipment.

Your team needs a VEX V5 robot kit (we recommend that VEX U teams start with the Competition Super Kit), access to a computer/device, and access to an internet-connected computer/device to utilize the free online curriculum and programming resources. The number of robots that your team requires depends on the number of students, the hands-on learning experience you plan to facilitate, and your available resources. Additional VEX components are available for purchase separately from the kits if your team chooses to add to their design and building options.

A set of Field & Game Elements is released for the new game each season. They are available for purchase after the VEX World Championships, usually in early May. You may purchase all or portions of the game elements, or even create your own mocked up copies.

VEX Robotics kits, parts, and fields are sold at

Assemble a Tool Kit

Other than your robot kit and your team members, it’s a great idea (but not mandatory) to have tools for use with your robotics parts.

VEX U teams may want extra wrenches, tethers, rechargeable battery packs, and other spare parts if your team budget allows for it. A few basic hand tools like tin snips, a hacksaw, and a metal file for sharp edges are good to have as well. Always be sure that everyone wears safety glasses while working on the robot and during competition matches.

VEX U teams can use additional machining and fabricating tools. The most common equipment addition to a VEX U team is a 3D printer.


While our programs remain among the most affordable available, the REC Foundation realizes that expenses over a season can add up and we want to lend assistance when possible. We are pleased to offer our community a selection of resources to help support your team and program all season long. Visit our Fundraising Resources article for some unique offerings to get the boost you need to keep your team competitive!

The VEX Robotics Knowledge Base article, “Funding and Grants for Robotics Programs,” also links to regional funding sources that may be available to you.

Registering Your Team for Competition Season

Important!: If you haven’t already, remember to register your teams early following the guidelines provided in this article. A new registration is required for each competition season.

Plan Your Schedule

You should develop a meeting schedule that meets your team’s availability, needs, objectives, and resources and stick to it! Some teams meet once or twice per week for a few hours, while others will meet more frequently and for longer periods of time. Teams benefit from the program in proportion to the time and effort they put into the program. As competitions approach, your team may decide to meet more frequently in order to better prepare for their participation in the competitions.

Plan Your Team Meetings

During the initial meetings, it is helpful for your team to develop a list of goals and a timeline for accomplishing these goals. Students should record these goals and deadlines in their engineering notebook and assign someone on the team to keep track of progress. Using a planning process supports the development of your students' organizational, time management, and project management skills.

Assign Team Roles

Teams can vary in size, and your team will be more productive if everyone is assigned roles. Consider rotating roles so that team members can benefit from the full program experience. Assign or have the students choose the roles that best fit their interests, skills, and needs. It is common for a student to perform more than one role on a team, and for multiple students to share a role.

Common VEX U Team Roles:

  • Robot Designers
  • Robot Programmers
  • Engineering Notebook Manager
  • Robot Builders
  • Robot Drivers
  • Team Scouts
  • Online Challenge competitors

Optional: Additional Role Ideas:

  • Team Captain(s)
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Fundraising
  • T-shirt Designer
  • Videographer
  • Web Designer
  • Pit Manager

Tip: Consider assigning backups for roles to sustain your team when an illness or schedule conflict occurs.

Develop a Team Identity

Developing a team identity can be a valuable, fun part of the team-building process. Your team members should use their creativity to establish their own unique identity, which can include choosing a team name, creating displays for your pit space (more information on Pits in Attending a VEX U Event), designing a team shirt, and creating a team cheer or song. The more you celebrate your team’s efforts and accomplishments, the easier it will be to engage other students and potential supporters that will help you build your team’s robotics program.

Register for and Attend Events

VEX U competitions give your team a chance to demonstrate the work they've done on their robots, code, and engineering notebook. Typical competitions include skills matches, teamwork matches, and interviews for judged awards. For details on how to register for and attend VEX U events, visit the article Attending a VEX U Event.