Northrop Grumman Foundation and Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Enhanced Student Learning Reaches 20,000 Teams Worldwide

February 28, 2018 – The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation is pleased to announce an extended partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation to enhance student learning and engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in order to reach 20,000 competition teams worldwide. In addition, this season the REC Foundation is proud to present the VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster and the VEX Robotics Competition/VEX U In the Zone games sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

VEX Competitions are among the world’s fastest growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the world, spanning over 45 countries participating in more than 1,500 events.

“The Northrop Grumman Foundation remains steadfast in its support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and we recognize that engaging students early and often in programs, like those offered by the REC Foundation, are critical to encouraging future innovators and technologists to solve our great challenges,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, President, the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Northrop Grumman Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility.

VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster brings elementary and middle school students together to compete in teamwork challenges with custom-built robots using VEX IQ. Teams compete as an alliance during a 60-second match, working collaboratively to score points. Together, they seek to place colored rings on a floor goal, on posts, by emptying starting pegs, and by releasing the bonus tray.

VEX Robotics Competition In the Zone game brings middle school, high school and college students together with guidance from their teachers and mentors to compete against each other with robots they designed, built and programmed using VEX EDR. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” are formed and consist of two teams each, where they compete in fifteen second autonomous matches followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by stacking cones on goals, by scoring cones on mobile goals in goal zones, by having the highest stacks, and by parking robots.

“The REC Foundation recognizes that successfully preparing our children for the future global economy will require a strong foundation in STEM education,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “Robotics engineering programs naturally engage and inspire students to pursue STEM subjects and careers and we are committed to providing students access to exciting and challenging competition experience, like the VEX IQ Challenge and the VEX Robotics Competition, to accommodate their growing interest.”

The VEX IQ Challenge Ringmaster and VEX Robotics Competition In the Zone are this season’s series of events supported by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. The competition season culminates each spring at the VEX Robotics World Championship, where the best teams from across the United States and around the world gather to challenge their top-ranked peers to become World Champions. The VEX Robotics World Championship is proudly presented by the REC Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

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About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. Its goal is to provide these programs with services, solutions, and a community that allows them to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for students to succeed in the 21st Century. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work so that one day these programs will become accessible to all students and all schools in all communities. For more information on REC Foundation, visit

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. The organizations provide funding to sustainable STEM programs that span from preschool to high school and through collegiate levels, with a major emphasis on middle school students and teachers. In 2017, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued outreach efforts by contributing over $20.4 million to STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association, Great Minds in Stem (Viva Technology) and EarthEcho’s international Earth Echo Expeditions.


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