Build and Play 2021 Showcases New Competitive Texas High Schools Teams in Austin, TX

Austin, Texas – June 25, 2021 – Today, at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD), a three-day robotics event -  Build & Play 2021 - kicks off for newly formed Texas high school robotics teams to gain experience competing in the field. 

With funding from the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Youth Robotics Initiative, the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and TSD’s Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) have joined forces to bring competitive robotics to Texas students, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing and who have not had the opportunity to participate or compete in robotics before. Build & Play gives these newcomers the opportunity to learn the basics of building a VEX Robotics robot, how to program it and test it out in a competitive setting.

“Especially for these students who attend mainstream schools,” says Daniel Veit, TSD’s Career & Technical Education Coordinator, “it’s often difficult for them to participate with full accessibility or to be involved in competitions. “We want all deaf and hard of hearing students to have this opportunity,” adds Veit.

Working with Texas’ Regional Day School Programs for deaf students, the SOC has helped interested schools recruit and establish new VEX Robotics Competition (V5RC) teams, equipped them with robot build kits, along with training the students., The school will be a host for this REC Foundation signature event.

Aaron Mowell, SOC project lead, is excited to bring in students who have not had this type of opportunity before.

“This is wonderful for these Texas high school students who are deaf or hard of hearing and traditionally underrepresented in the STEM field,” Modwell said. 

With such opportunities like this, REC Foundation programs like the VEX Robotics Competition can have a tremendous impact on these students who will experience robotics and compete for the first time among their peers.”

“We want all deaf and hard of hearing students to have this opportunity,” adds Veit.

About the Statewide Outreach Center at Texas School for the Deaf

Your trusted resource in deaf education, the Statewide Outreach Center (SOC) at Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) carries forth the second tenet of the school’s mission through outreach with the resources and expertise of TSD shared with students who are deaf and hard of hearing, their families, and professionals anywhere across the state. Working collaboratively with a variety of partner agencies, family-focused groups and schools across Texas, the SOC offers a network of support, in-depth information and quality resources for those who need it. To learn more visit:, and follow the SOC on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.

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