VEX Robotics Information 

The division of middle school from high scool now entails two possible routes for middle school teams.  There is a middle school specific contest that makes use of the VEX IQ equipment.  It is a smaller, and simpler to use solution for middle schools.  The game is played on a smaller field and game play is simplified.  We will have a VEX IQ Challenge at the TSA State Conference in April. 

The second route for middle schools is to continue to compete in the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC).  However, the middle school teams will have to compete against high school teams.  New rules for both competitions can be found by following this link 

All teams that compete at the Alabama TSA State Conference must be pre-registered VEX teams (have a team number) and must register for the Alabama TSA event on the REC website (this is so you will be in the database for computer scoring - this is at no additional cost).  We can not allow teams to participate without having paid VEX team fees and being assigned a team number by REC or who have not registered for the event onboth the REC website and the Register my chapter website.  

A  Communication from Steve Ballard 

Welcome back to another great school year! For those who do not know me, my name is Steve Ballard and I teach PLTW Engineering and robotics at Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School in Montgomery, Al. My school competed in Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics from 2002 until 2014 and we have been competing with VEX Robotics since 2009. In addition we do Technology Student Association (TSA) VEX Robotics.

I wanted to make contact with everyone to see how many advisors on my list haven’t been getting emails from Chandler Bise, our new Alabama Regional Support Manager at [email protected]? If you haven’t been receiving his emails please email him so you can receive VEX news and updates.

Some of you may not know but we had an Alabama VEX Event Partner and Coaches Summit yesterday in Birmingham. We had almost 70 VEX EDR and IQ advisors in attendance. Chandler and Leslie Cruse updated everyone about changes for this year’s EDR and VEX IQ games

As of today we have 102 VEX EDR robots registered in the state of Alabama! Last year we had 152 robots registered in the state of Alabama by April 2018. Hopefully, with more schools coming online with PLTW we can push our total number of EDR robots in the state closer to the 200!

VEX “Turning Point” Events that are thus far listed in the state are listed at Last year we had twelve (12) tournaments. But we definitely need events in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area, Dothan, Gadsden/Anniston area, Tuscaloosa area, and we need more events in the Birmingham area as well. To date we have eight VEX EDR “Turning Point” events posted on robotevents. Jeff Ostrowski from Gulf Shores Middle school is hosting a VEX Turning Point event on October 6th in Gulf ShoresTJ Nguyen is hosting, Spooky VEX on the Plains October 27th on the campus of Auburn University. Vicki Petters is hosting River Region Qualify Tournament on November 3rd at Montgomery Catholic High School, and I plan to host; BrewTech’s VEX “Turning Point” State Qualifier on Saturday November 17th. Then Brandi Glenn, at Hazel Green High School is hosting a tournament on January 19th 2019. Then Bobbi Evans is hosting Bots on the Bay on January 26th 2019. TJ Nguyen is hosting, VEX on the Plains February 9th 2019 and finally,Nick Ciuzio at Enterprise High School has a tournament on Saturday February 9th, 2019. With more tournaments coming online shortly, we hope!

Auburn University will be hosting the Alabama VEX VRC and IQ Robotics State Championship this year the first weekend in March. In order to qualify for the Alabama VEX State Championship a team must win an Excellence Award, a tournament champion award, or a design Award just to name a few at a local tournament to qualify.

Teachers/Advisors who want to become an event partner and host a VEX EDR, “Turning Point” Event will need to contact; Chandler Bise, our Alabama Regional Support Manager at [email protected]. Please email him and tell him you want to become an Event Partner (EP) and he can help get you set up and send you the information to get you started!

Hosting an event can be a fundraising opportunity your robotics team! Most events charge $35.00 - $60.00 per robot to compete at a tournament and don’t charge admission to spectators to watch. What we have found from hosting an event the last six years is that profits from the concession stand are, in our case, always very, very good. Last year around $1,550.00

If you have any questions about VEX Robotics please contact Chandler, me, or any other Alabama EP or VEX robotics advisor. Thank you all for what you do for our students!

F. Steve Ballard 
Engineering Academy Instructor 
PLTW, TSA, and VEX Robotics Advisor 
Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School 
4405 Brewbaker Drive Montgomery, Al 36116 
334-284-7100    IP# 79619  FAX 334-284-7110
[email protected] 


1.  Do you have to register your robot with to participate in the Alabama TSA VEX Robotics Event? Yes, you must first register your team with  Then after doing so, you will be to registerfor the Alabama TSA State competition. Registration for the Alabama TSA VEX event is at no cost but REC is charging a service fee of $5. You must also register for the TSA STate Conference which is $40.00 per student. For more information please call or email Ben Scheierman. View this link to register a team 

2.  Just a reminder, schools/advisors shouldn’t wait to the week before an event to register their robot(s) with or the event you want to attend. Some events close a week to two weeks before they are scheduled.  Robotevents will need time to process your order and get it posted so that you can register for an event. 

3.  VERY Important Information! TSA VEX Robotics Events are run differently from a VEX Robotics Event. Please visit this website to learn more about the state and national TSA VEX Event 

 For VEX at TSA it is one robot against another robot, no alliances.