Students participate in a VEX Robotics competition at Kettering University.

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint will sponsor a skills field at the VEX Robotics Competition on Nov. 18 in Kettering University’s Campus Center Founders Room.

The sponsorship was made possible with a $2,000 grant the Foundation authorized to Kettering University. Of that, $1,000 will come from the William H. and Joyce R. Piper Family Fund.

“Throughout the year, our staff evaluates sponsorship requests based on their community impact and opportunities for brand recognition. Education and youth development are key strategies for grantmaking, so we are pleased to sponsor the VEX VRC Tournament this year,” said Sue Peters, Vice President of Community Impact at the Foundation.

The Foundation’s logo will appear on signage at the skills field, on the back of volunteers’ T-shirts and on the event registration listing.

In the skills challenge, teams have one minute to score as many points as possible in a match. These matches consist of Driving Skills and Autonomous Coding, and teams are ranked based on their combined score in both matches.

“The grant from the William H. and Joyce R. Piper Family Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint enables the Robotics Center at Kettering University to provide a venue for VEX Robotics’ middle and high school student participants to compete with the robots they designed and built while demonstrating their skills,” said Kim Shumaker, Robotics Community Center and Robotics Outreach Director at Kettering University. “It is important to recognize the efforts of these talented students and expose them to a university campus where their skill set is highly valued.”

This year’s game, “Over Under,” is a head-to-head game in which two competing alliances, consisting of two teams, work to move acorn-shaped “Triballs” into their goals and offensive zones. Teams can also earn points at the end of the match when robots climb their respective Elevation Bars. Elevation points are awarded based on the tiers the robots reach on the bars relative to the other robots.

Thirty-six teams from across the state are expected to compete at the Nov. 18 event. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, email Shumaker at

Since 2015, Kettering has hosted VEX camps and workshops. Students who are active competitors or mentors in VEX or other competitive robotics organizations can receive renewable scholarships for up to $5,000 yearly (up to $25,000 over five years).

In April, Kettering University was a Mission Sponsor at the VEX World Championships in Texas. The University’s VEX U team, KUdos, also competed and earned the Sportsmanship Award.

For more information about robotics at Kettering University, click here.