Our Two Students at VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas

Two of our students recently had the opportunity to participate in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas, Texas, representing Aiglon College, a prestigious Swiss boarding school. This was the first time that Aiglon students participated in this famous event, which brings together more than 800 top-level VEX IQ Robotics, VEX Robotics Competition and VEX U teams from around the world. The Aiglon team, one of the youngest in the competition, was one of the 16 finalists, demonstrating its remarkable talent and commitment.

Aiglon College, a renowned boarding school in Switzerland, emphasises a practical and experimental approach to education, encouraging innovation and creativity in its students. 

VEX Robotics Championship in Dallas

Mr Jason Machin, IT teacher at Aiglon, explains the school’s philosophy: “It’s about learning something new and then using that information to create something cool. Innovation in Computer Science is fundamentally about problem-solving.” This approach is reflected in the variety of activities offered by students at the school, including web development, 3D design and engineering, robotics engineering and a coding club. Pupils are encouraged to propose new activities, develop a quasi-curriculum and lead these initiatives with guidance from Mr Machin.

The journey to Dallas began with the team’s victory at the VEX robotics competition in Basel, Switzerland, on 1 March 2024. Indeed, this victory enabled them to represent Switzerland at the world championships in Texas. Competing against 13,700 VEX teams around the world, reaching the world championship was a great achievement and a huge pride for the school. Albert, a Year 10 student, highlighted the educational benefits of the competition, saying:   “VEX is an amazing sport. Not only can you compete against teams from all over the world, but you can also improve areas of interest and study, like physics, maths, and computer science. It is also incredibly fun!”

The team, composed of eight students from Year 8 to Year 10, was accompanied by staff members Mr. Machin, Mr. Darren Wise (Director of IT), and Ms. Isla Campbell (Le Cerf Assistant Houseparent). Their robot, named 9231A, was a testament to their hard work and ingenuity. Despite not advancing beyond the final 16 after losing in a knockout game to the fourth-seeded team, the Aiglon team’s participation was highly commendable.

"The incredible part about VEX was being immersed in a dynamic mix of cultures, languages, and perspectives, all united in the quest for the 2024 world championship in the over/under challenge."
aiglon college logo
Year 10 Student at Aiglon College
VEX robotics championship in dallas

The VEX Robotics competitions allow students to design, build, code, and control a remote-controlled robotic device capable of performing various tasks, such as lifting, throwing, gathering, and moving objects. In these competitions, students form alliances with other teams and compete against robots to score points in various challenges, similar to a team sport like Formula 1, where drivers are supported by a team of engineers, programmers, and a ‘pit crew.’

This year, Aiglon College has expanded opportunities for students to engage in building, making, and robotics. Mr. Machin has established VEX as an activity and introduced various building projects, including vehicles, boats, ‘Wallees,’ and ‘BB8s.’, highlighting the school commitment for innovaiton and hands-on-learning.

For the future, Collège Aiglon plans to develop its robotics and artificial intelligence programmes. In August 2024, a dedicated Artificial Intelligence and Robotics teacher will join the teaching staff, bringing additional expertise and enabling the school to reach new heights in these areas. In addition, the new VEX challenge for 2024-25, ‘High Stakes’, has already attracted the interest of the team, who have begun to explore this new venture with enthusiasm.

Our two students’ participation in the VEX World Robotics Championship not only showcased their technical skills and creativity, but also underlined the values of teamwork, dedication and international collaboration that Aiglon College strives to instil in its students. Their experience in Dallas was an important step for the school and a testament to the exceptional educational opportunities offered by this Swiss boarding school.