NCTC to host VEX Robotics Competition

50 teams from northwest Minnesota will compete in the tournament on Saturday, Dec 2.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is hosting the Pioneers Robotics VEX Robotics Tournament at NCTC's Thief River Falls campus gymnasium. A total of 50 teams from northwest Minnesota will be competing. Teams will compete in 75 qualification rounds from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM. The elimination bracket starts at 3:00 PM followed by an awards ceremony. The tournament is free and open to the public.

Andrew Dahlen, Minnesota VEX Robotics coordinator and NCTC Electronics Technology instructor, said, "Each robotics team is similar to a small manufacturing company. Students are faced with competition, strict deadlines, numerous technical challenges, and finite resources. Successful teams push though these constraints with innovative solutions, teamwork and perseverance." Dahlen continued, "The experience of being part of a robotics team is excellent preparation for students to enter the workforce."

NCTC is dedicated to serving manufacturers in Minnesota and North Dakota. New strategies are being utilized to educate people on careers in manufacturing. Tournaments like the VEX Robotics Competition provide an exciting opportunity to get youth interested in manufacturing, technology and engineering fields and aim to build awareness of NCTC's technical program offerings such as electronics, manufacturing, and welding.

The VEX Robotics Tournament is sponsored by Digi-Key Electronics, American Crystal Sugar, and Central Boiler. Dahlen said, "We are incredibly grateful for these sponsors as they continue to support the mission of Pioneer Robotics at NCTC." Dahlen continued, "Many of these companies even have scholarship opportunities for high school graduates entering select manufacturing programs here at Northland."

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing robotics competition in the world. There are more than 12,000 teams from 32 countries playing in over 1000 tournaments. Minnesota is home to over 150 VEX Robotics Teams.

"The public is welcome to attend the free event and we encourage any interested schools to bring students over for the day to see the event and celebrate all of the hard work and innovation the teams have put into their robots," added Dahlen.

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.