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MEDIA ADVISORY: UND College of Engineering & Mines to host VEX Robotics Tournament at the Memorial Union

Nearly 60 middle and high school teams across North Dakota and Minnesota will put their robots to the test on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tournament is open to the public

Fall UND scene
Students walk on the University of North Dakota campus. Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

What: The VEX U Student Club, in collaboration with the UND College of Engineering & Mines, is organizing a 57-team VEX Robotics tournament

When: Saturday, Feb. 3. Opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and the final matches will take place between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: UND Memorial Union

Background: In coordination with VEX Robotics’ University Robotics Teams, the UND College of Engineering & Mines (CEM) is hosting the 2023-2024 VEX Robotics Challenge, Over Under, on Saturday, Feb. 3 in the Memorial Union.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. that Saturday, after which 57 middle and high school teams from across North Dakota and Minnesota will pit their robots against one another in friendly competition. The tournament is free and open to the public.

In addition, the CEM encourages company leaders to stop in the Memorial Union on February 3 to see first-hand the excitement and impact of these programs.

The tournament is an engineering challenge which requires robots to score points by maneuvering balls into goals or zones and hanging on a bar at the end of the match. Saturday’s tournament serves as a regional qualifier for the North Dakota or Minnesota VEX Robotics State Championships. This event is one of many initiatives the CEM is launching to inspire talented young minds to pursue engineering career paths.

The CEM is committed to fostering interest in Engineering and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields by enhancing support for Competitive Robotics. Programs such as VEX Robotics and FIRST Robotics offer technical challenges that closely mirror real-world engineering jobs. Teams participating in these programs navigate constraints including budgetary limitations, material availability, and project deadlines, investing substantial time and effort in refining their robots throughout the season.

Recognizing the current shortage of engineering professionals impacting local and national operations and growth plans, the College is intensifying efforts to implement various strategies, including youth programs like VEX and FIRST Robotics, youth summer camps, educator workshops and participation in science and technology fairs.

The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, stands as the largest and fastest-growing middle school and high school robotics program globally, boasting more than 20,000 teams from 50 countries participating in over 1,700 competitions worldwide. Students, guided by their teachers and mentors, engage in year-round competition, building innovative robots and gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field of robotics.

Media contact:

Andrew Dahlen, Mechanical Engineering lecturer, at, or 701.777.5109.