About Us


The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s global mission is to provide every educator with competition, education, and workforce readiness programs to increase student engagement in science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science.


We see a future where every student designs and innovates as part of a team, overcomes failure, perseveres, and emerges confident in their ability to meet global challenges.

The REC Foundation

The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation sparks interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable, and affordable curriculum-based robotics programs.

VEX Competitions

The REC Foundation’s VEX Competitions make up the largest and fastest growing robotics engineering platform consisting of the following programs: the VEX IQ Robotics Competition (Elementary & Middle School), the VEX V5 Robotics Competition (Middle School & High School) and VEX U (College/University).
This past season we reached more than 100,000 students at more than 2,600 events around the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation works in close partnership with VEX Robotics, Inc., creator of the robotics kits and educational tools used by students, educators and mentors. Each year, the two organizations unveil new engineering game challenges for the VEX IQ Robotics Competition and the VEX V5 Robotics Competition.

Code of Conduct

The REC Foundation considers the positive, respectful, and ethical conduct of all students, teachers, mentors, parents, and other event attendees an important and essential component of all events. Please download and review the Code of Conduct for an overview of expectations for participants’ behavior and ethical standards at all REC Foundation-sanctioned events.
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The Aerial Drone Competition

The Aerial Drone Competition, supported by the REC Foundation, provides an exciting educational drone sporting event focused on hands-on, student-centered learning. Teams learn about drones, flight principles, programming, documentation, and interpersonal skills, while expanding their understanding and building interest in drone-related career opportunities. The competition prepares our youth for the workforce by strengthening the skills they’ll rely on. Through its uniquely engaging combination of teamwork and problem-solving, students execute an analytic process that resembles the same mindset used by engineers, designers, and virtually every other profession. The competition is not just fun to play—it is a vehicle for teaching (and testing) communication, collaboration, and perseverance, and allows students to approach and solve new challenges with confidence.

The game design presents a challenge, requires cooperation, encourages innovation, and fosters fun. Our data demonstrates that the skills gained through participation in the Aerial Drone Competition help students prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. Competitions are open to middle and high school students who compete in local and national events. Students pilot and program drones, and documenting their process in a competition logbook."

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The REC Foundation operates RobotEvents.com to help support robotics and other STEM activities that aim to inspire and motivate students. RobotEvents.com is a community website that provides event promotion and professional online registration for STEM events. The site helps the two main groups who make all of these programs possible: teams (schools, students, teachers, mentors, parents) and event organizers (local groups and volunteers).

REC Foundation Board of Directors

The REC Foundation's board of directors is composed of respected individuals, each of whom has participated in our organization programs as a coach, event partner, judge, or parent. Each member brings a wealth of expertise and experience to help propel the organization's mission to empower educators to inspire and equip students for success.

With backgrounds spanning education, technology, and business, our board members are committed to fostering innovation and excellence in robotics education. Their collective leadership guides the REC Foundation in fulfilling its vision of empowering students through comprehensive programs encompassing competitions, education, and workforce readiness.

The REC Foundation Board of Directors includes:
Dan Mantz – CEO, REC Foundation
Dan is Chief Executive Officer for the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation, and has more than 25 years of engineering experience, solving complex problems in the software, electrical, and mechanical fields. Prior to joining the REC Foundation in 2017, Dan was President of Rack Solutions and he previously spent 19 years in the industrial robotics industry at FANUC Robotics, first as an engineer and later as Director of Product Development.

Dr. Cori Lathan, Ph.D – CEO, De Oro Devices
Cori is the founder and former CEO of AnthroTronix, Inc., a biomedical engineering research and development company. She is a technology entrepreneur who has developed robots for kids with disabilities, virtual reality technology for the space station, and wearable sensors for training surgeons and soldiers. Her best-selling book, Inventing the Future, Stories from a Techno-Optimist, tells the story of her over 20 year journey as an inventor, engineer, and tech entrepreneur.

Mike Harris – Chief Operating Officer, Ring/Blink (Amazon)
Mike is Chief Operating Officer for Ring and Blink, both home security brands of Amazon.com. Prior to joining the Amazon ecosystem, Mike was co-founder and CEO of Zonoff, a smart home and internet-of-things company. He previously held a number of leadership roles across the software space, including at Open Peak and Digital 5.

Mary Lou Ewald – Director, Southern Center of Robotics Education (SCORE); Director of Science & Math Outreach, Auburn University
Mary Lou has been Director of the STEM Outreach Center in the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University since 2000. Prior to this position, she worked with the Alabama Science in Motion program as the Associate Project Director and physics field specialist. In 2016, Mary Lou founded the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education (SCORE) that aims to bring robotics resources and training to rural, urban and under-resourced schools in Alabama and neighboring states.

Dr. Shelly Gruenig – Founder & CEO, Be Greater Than Average
Shelly is a distinguished STEM entrepreneur with a remarkable track record in teambuilding and workforce development. She is best known as the visionary founder of the Girls Into Tech leadership and mentoring program, a transformative initiative that empowers young women to excel in the world of technology. Shelly’s passion for technology and dedication to fostering the next generation of innovators are evident in her tireless efforts to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem.

Nonprofit Information

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