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VU and First Indiana Robotics host scrimmage for high school competitors


The Vincennes University Center for Applied Robotics and Automation and First Indiana Robotics welcomed high school students from Southern Indiana for an exhilarating Robotics Scrimmage on the Vincennes Campus.

The event, which took place on Feb. 23, showcased the innovation and talent of budding engineers and robotics teams. The inaugural scrimmage allowed plenty of opportunities for students to demonstrate their technical skills and teamwork abilities.

The future leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics enjoyed a day of creative problem-solving and collaborative spirit as teams tested their robotic creations on the playing field. The students also received design feedback from the VU Advanced Manufacturing Robotics and Mechatronics degree program faculty.

Washington High School Computer Science and Robotics Teacher Matt Riney was impressed with the scrimmage.

“I loved how all of the Southwestern Indiana teams were able to come together to collaborate and share their creations with each other,” Riney said. “The space at VU was amazing. We don’t have that kind of space at Washington, and our team was actually able to practice! They were amazed at how fast the robots are and how fast the game moves. FIRST Robotics Competition is what I refer to as the Major Leagues of robotics competitions.”

The students eagerly fine-tuned their robots in VU’s Student Recreation Center, their faces lit with determination while preparing for the upcoming competition.

“It’s the first time we actually get to see all of the field elements put together in actual correct measurements, so I’m excited to just get out there and do it for the first time,” Washington High School student Aleida Sanchez told a television reporter.

The students are eager to apply their honed knowledge and skills to the FIRST Indiana Robotics district competition, which is being co-sponsored by VU, at Washington (Ind.) High School March 28-30.

In addition to the scrimmage, the event featured tours of the CARA and the College of Technology. While touring these labs and classrooms, the students gained valuable insights into the worlds of robotics, automation, and advanced technology and their applications in various professions.

“I know the AMT (Advanced Manufacturing Technician) students greatly helped out my team,” Riney said. “The tour was outstanding, and my students came back very excited about the opportunities that are offered to them for their future.”

VU is plays a pivotal role in nurturing young talent by hosting and sponsoring robotics events and competitions.

“We were thrilled to host such a dynamic and engaging event on our Vincennes Campus,” CARA Director Kimberly Wright said. “The Robotics Scrimmage highlights the incredibly talented youth within our region and underscores Vincennes University’s commitment to fostering STEM education and innovation. We were excited to inspire the next generation of innovators and problem solvers and to introduce them to diverse career paths in STEM fields.”

As the event wrapped up, teams celebrated their achievements and were excited about fine-tuning their robots in preparation for the upcoming FIRST Indiana Robotics district event. That competition combines the thrill of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited time, and resources, teams of students must raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a challenging field game against like-minded competitors.

The VU Robotics Scrimmage served as a showcase of talent and a testament to the power of collaboration, creativity, and determination in advancing robotics education.

For more information about the CARA, visit To explore VU bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificates, go to

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