Vex Robotics
Spotlight Video

Our mission is to lead St. Vrain Valley Schools in developing sustainable, equitable and high-quality robotics programming. We want to inspire educators, students and community members by providing engaging, challenging and transformative robotics experiences, both during and outside of the school day.

St. Vrain Valley Schools is advancing public education for our community, state and nation. We are preparing our students for their future by giving them a strong competitive advantage. Today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce demand an education that is rooted in rigorous traditional academics while also leveraging modern technology and advanced learning.

Computer Science is an innovative field, allowing students to be creative problem-solvers and apply their knowledge in real, authentic ways. Our students and teachers regularly program robots, write code, engage in digital citizenship and literacy activities, and learn about the role computers play in our day-to-day lives.

Careers and industry practices are explored through mentoring, internships, guest speakers and more. St. Vrain is committed to providing additional opportunities in cybersecurity through:
• New curriculum for middle and high schools
• Opportunities to earn certifications
• Extracurricular activities and clubs
• Professional development

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Advanced Robotics

  • Advanced Robotics
    - Open to all 9-12th graders (No prerequisites)
    - $20 Course Fee

    This class prepares students to compete against other high school, community college and university teams from around the country and world in the 2020 MATE Underwater Robotics Competition. Our team will design, build, and test an underwater drone, and will also develop a marketing approach to sell our product. You will learn and apply engineering skills like computer-aided design, fabrication, electronics, programming and principles of aquatic physics. We will at a minimum participate in one regional competition in the US; if we qualify, we will travel to Monterrey, California in June 2020 to compete in the 2020 MATE International Competition.

    Any student is welcome to enroll. The main requirement is a strong interest in learning something new, a firm commitment to the team, and committing to participating in the International competition in June if the team qualifies. Fundraising will be required in order to travel to events and acquire some of the course materials. Email with questions.

Applied Robotics

  • Applied Robotics
    - Open to all 9-12th graders (No prerequisites)
    - $20 Course Fee

    Native fish species in Colorado are under threat due to habitat modification, altered stream flow and invasive species. You will work together with experts like Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza of Ocean First Institute, learning how to apply innovations in the field of robotics, such as remote sensing and robotic vision. You will help scientists restore ecosystem, reintroduce, and monitor native fish species.

    All students are welcome to enroll. The main requirement is a strong interest in learning about local conservation and exploring ways robotics can be used to solve environmental challenges. Email with questions.

Robotics 1: Introduction to Robotics Online

  • Robotics 1: Introduction to Robotics Online
    No #
    (.5 Credit)
    • Open to all 9-12th graders • $20 Course Fee

    Robotics I is a one-semester online course that explains various concepts related to robotics. The course begins by describing the evolution and applications of robotics. The course helps you identify career opportunities and important employability skills in robotics. You will explore Newton’s laws of motion and their applications in robotics. You will learn and apply basic concepts of electricity, electronic circuits, Boolean algebra, magnetics, and their applicability to robotics. And you will be provided an option to construct a simple robot.
    This course is being designed and delivered in partnership with Colorado Digital Learning Solutions and the St Vrain Valley School District Innovation Center and delivered by a team of St Vrain teachers and students. Register online at

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    (.5 credit)
    • Open to all 9 - 12th graders
    Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving eld that is quickly transforming our society. It encompasses multiple fields, including machine learning, data analytics and the internet of things (IoT). This introductory class will explore this new and growing field by exploring the question of what intelligence is and how people and machines can learn; the importance of data to AI; the use of hardware to create a Smart environments; and the ethics challenges we face in an increasingly connected world.

    Students will have the chance to try out various cutting-edge technologies, ranging from IBM’s Watson to Misty and NAO robots. We’ll work with experts in the eld to develop real-world applications for these technologies. Some experience with programming and/or robotics is helpful, but not required.

Robotics Exploration

  • Robotics Exploration
    Open to all 9 - 12th graders

    If you have had little or no experience with robotics, this course is a perfect introduction. You will learn about the wide world of robotics by exploring the different types and uses of robots in our world as well as possible robotic careers. Activities will be very hands-on and you’ll have a chance to explore the different standards of robotics (like design, fabrication, electronics, computer science) using fun and unique technologies at the Innovation Center.

Robotics A: Design/Electronics

  • Robotics A: Design/Electronics
    - Open to all 9th-12th Graders
    - Prerequisites - one of the following: (1 semester of Introductory Robotics, completion of Introduction to Robotics Online, or Instructor Approval)

    This course will have a strong focus on how robots are designed and built. It is one of two courses designed to help you build up your robotics skillset and, in turn, to prepare you for more rigorous and authentic robotic opportunities like Robotics for a Better World and Competitive Robotics. You'll explore the following in this course:
    - Fundamentals of 2-D and 3-D design
    - Human-centered and engineering design processes
    - Tools and approaches for design (sketching, CAD)
    - Prototyping techniques and materials
    - Basics of electronic design
    - Mechanics of effective robotic design
    - Engineering practices such as testing and documentation
Project Teams

Aquatic Robotics

Underwater Robotics
Aquatic Robotics

The Innovation Center Aquatic Robotics Team (ICART) is developing two main products.  The first is Poseidon, an agile, powerful underwater drone with a sensing array for water quality testing, 6 motors for fine control, and 4 cameras for infrastructure inspection and habitat monitoring.

The second product is affectionately called ‘Überkugel’, German for ‘over-sphere’.  Überkugel is a surface sonar vessel capable of creating low-cost, high-quality bathymetric maps of lakes.  Its unique pontoon design is powered by water propulsion and guided by GPS.

To learn more about the team, visit their website: 

Human-Robot Interaction

NAO Robot
Human-Robot Interaction

Humanoid robotics is a growing field and is used in various industries, including education, health care, retail and hospitality.  Our team focuses on two robotic platforms:

  • NAO Robots  
  • Misty Robots

Each platform is unique, but they share a lot in common as well.  Team members learn skills in areas of:

  • Natural language processing
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Coding (Python and Javascript)
  • Human-centered design

Our Misty team is currently looking for 2-3 new members.  Interested? Contact Chris Schmitz and Axel Reitzig for more information.

Robotics Leadership Team

Innovation Center Robotics Leadership team members helping at a Vex tournament.
Robotics Leadership Team

This team provides leadership and support for robotics programming throughout the St. Vrain Valley school district.   It primarily helps schools set up and run competitive VEX/VEX IQ robotics tournaments.  They also mentor robotics clubs at various elementary and middle schools throughout the district and provide professional development to teachers.

Skills and commitments for being on this team include:

  • Commitment to meet 2-4 hours a week for planning and training
  • Commitment to helping with 2-3 robotics tournaments (10-12 hours per tournament) between October and February
  • Skills that will be needed but not necessarily by every team member:
  • Programming with EasyC or RobotC
  • Understanding of VEX/VEX IQ robotics platforms
  • Familiarity with project planning and management
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills

Opportunities for the 2019-20 school year will be posted soon.