For Students

How do I become involved?

The team for 2018-19 is set. To become involved next year (2019-20), attend an introductory meeting typically held during the first week of September. At that meeting, all interested students, whether new or returning, will be directed to complete an application form by clicking on the link below. Applications will have a firm deadline. No late applications will be accepted.

The application for 2019-20 will be posted in this space prior to the start of the 2019-20 school year, when available.

Did I make the club?

The ID numbers of those students selected for the 2019-20 NVHS Robotics Club will posted below in numerical order. Those students listed are expected to attend the first club meeting. If any student listed below is unable to fulfill the expectations (including regular Tuesday and Thursday meetings) of the Robotics Club, they must inform Mr. Ross immediately so that he may fill that spot with another student. Students not listed below are directed to the bottom of this page to learn more about other club options.

I'm in the club.

What are the expectations?

Please refer to the Club Expectations page.

When do we meet?

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45 pm to 5:15 pm in the Birkett Freshman Center, Room H123.

When are our competitions?

Local, qualifying competitions occur from roughly December through February. The state competition occurs in late February, and the US Open national tournament and VEX World Championships occur in April.

Will there be additional costs that my family will need to cover?

The US Open national tournament (Council Bluffs, IA) and the VEX World Championships (Louisville, KY), should any team qualify, must be paid for by the participants. Traditionally this has cost each participant on the order of hundreds of dollars per tournament, which covers transportation, hotel, registration, and other costs. The exact cost of each event will be calculated as these events approach. Other ancillary costs may also need to be funded by club members for such things as tee shirts or pizza parties. The student members of the club will determine whether or not to pursue these items.

How do I check out equipment?

Download and complete this equipment checkout form. The expectations of checking out equipment are included on the form, which must be signed by each team member.

I didn't make the club, but I want to compete. What else can I do?

The most difficult aspect of the NVHS Robotics Club is that there are always more students interested than the club can accommodate. Resources that support the club--equipment, registration funds, work space, and staffing–limit the club to seven teams with six students per team. It is heartbreaking to know that some eager students will be excluded from the club roster. However, all students who applied, but were not accepted, will be placed on a wait list should an opening occur during the season. There are also other options to pursue robotics and STEM interests:

  • Start your own robotics team: VEX, the national organization that governs competitions, does not require school affiliation to compete. Students could form their own independent team outside of NVHS. The students would need to purchase their own VEX robot equipment, meet outside of school (perhaps at home), and pay registration fees for a given competition. The VEX V5 Competition Super Kit includes the necessary equipment to start a team. It runs about $1,500, but this cost can be shared by all team members. This independent team can seek occasional advice from the NVHS Robotics Club and make arrangements to practice on the NVHS competition field. However, it is an independent team and not affiliated with the NVHS Robotics Club.
  • Join another STEM-related club: Several other clubs, such as Team America Rocketry Challenge, SkillsUSA, and IDEA offer students a chance to compete using STEM skills at large state and national competitions similar to Robotics Club.
    • Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC): Launch rockets with the Team America Rocket Challenge (TARC). In this club, you’ll design, build, and launch rockets to reach, perhaps, to Washington D.C. If your rocket team launches a rocket to the Top 100 in the nation, you may compete at the national level in the nation’s capital. The first meeting is anticipated in early September. For more information, please email Mr. Tegtmeyer at anthony_tegtmeyer@ipsd.org and check out https://sites.google.com/ipsd.org/nvhs-tarc.
    • SkillsUSA: Show off your technical skills at a two-day rockin’ state convention in Springfield. SkillsUSA is an organization that celebrates career technical education with competitions ranging from construction skills to coding video games to a quiz bowl--and so much more that I couldn’t possibly list it all here. The variety is endless. SkillsUSA meets Wednesday mornings at Neuqua to prepare for the state conference. Neuqua has done very well in these competitions, sending teams to the week-long national conference in Louisville, KY each June. For more information, please email Mr. Rose at mark_rose@ipsd.org and check out https://www.skillsusa.org/.
    • Illinois Drafting Educators Association (IDEA): The Illinois Drafters Education Association (IDEA) hosts regional and state contests. Traditionally, these contests focused on manual and CAD drafting challenges. However, IDEA is modernizing their contents to be a more holistic engineering experience. For more information, please email Mr. Rose at mark_rose@ipsd.org and check out http://www.idea-online.org/.
  • Take PLTW courses: The PLTW Principles of Engineering (POE) course includes projects using the same VEX equipment used in the Robotics Club. It also includes in-class competitions that meet the needs of particular lessons. The PLTW Digital Electronics (DE) course studies electronic circuits used to process and control digital signals. Other PLTW courses include Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA), and the capstone course, Engineering Design and Development (EDD).
  • Apply again next year: If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior and did not make it to the robotics team this year, please apply again the following year.