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QCC’s Expertise in Robotics Brings New England Regional Championships to Worcester; Professor Betty Lauer, Pioneer of Robotics Programs for Worcester Public Schools Builds STEM Pipeline

Contact: Cherie Ronayne
Office of Institutional Communications
508.854.2849
cronayne [at] qcc.mass.edu

Release Date: 
2/27/2014

Worcester, MA – February 27, 2014 – Quinsigamond Community College’s Betty Lauer (Professor of Computer Systems Engineering Technology/Coordinator of the Computer Systems Engineering Technology Program) will facilitate the New England Regional VEX Robotics Championships for middle and high school robotics teams at the QCC Worcester location on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2.

QCC has enjoyed great success building a pipeline of students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by providing opportunities for K through 12 Worcester public school students to participate in Robotics technology programs. Professor Lauer pioneered and facilitated the Worcester Public Schools Robotics Program now in its 11th year. The program is one of the largest robotics consortiums in the United States. Professor Lauer said recently, “I am in awe that we are responsible for incubating robotics teams that can compete on a world-class level.” 

Eighty high school teams from across New England will compete for spots at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Anaheim, CA in April. The competition starts at 8:00 a.m. in the Hebert Auditorium at QCC, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester. In addition to the high school teams, forty middle school teams from New England will also compete on Saturday, March 1 at Worcester Technical High School, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They are also vying for spots at the VEX World Championships.

New England Region elementary school teams will also compete in a division called the VEX IQ Elementary School. Thirty teams of 150 students will compete in a robotics challenge called ‘Add It Up’. The competition will take place on Sunday, March 2 from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. The elementary school robotics teams from Worcester Public Schools that will be competing are the product of QCC’s Robotics Program. Students in the program gain expertise in robotics at an advanced level and many who participate as high school students have become very successful QCC students, later transferring to notable 4-year colleges and universities. While at QCC, they are able to participate in college-level competitive robotics and have also gone on to compete in the college division of the VEX World Championship Competition.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation and EMC Corporation will sponsor the New England Regional events as well as the Vex Robotics World Championships.

Quinsigamond Community College is the most affordable higher education in Worcester County. As a regional leader in education and workforce development, QCC serves the diverse educational needs of Central Massachusetts by providing affordable, accessible, and high quality programming leading to transfer, career, and lifelong learning.