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QCC Professor Betty Lauer Provides Conduit for Largest Robotics Consortium in US

QCC Facilitates Southern New England Regional Championships

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

Release Date: 
3/5/2015

Worcester, MA – March 5, 2015 – Quinsigamond Community College’s Betty Lauer (Professor of Computer Systems Engineering Technology/Coordinator of the Computer Systems Engineering Technology Program) will facilitate the Southern New England Regional VEX Robotics Championships for elementary, middle and high school robotics teams at QCC, 670 West Boylston Street, Worcester  on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. The regional competition is the qualifying round for the 2015 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, April 15 – 18.

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, pioneered and facilitated by Professor Lauer. Professor Lauer oversees one of the largest robotics consortiums in the United States, now in its 12h year. The consortium  reaches approximately 15 elementary, five middle and six high schools in Worcester and an 40 additional schools across Massachusetts,  as well as many students in charter and private schools in the city.

Each year, QCC reaches over 1,000 students from Worcester alone, in after school and summer robotics activities; as a direct result, new statistics on MCAS scores reveal higher marks for students who participate in robotics programs. QCC is proud of these activities and the numerous students that are reached. Many of the students from WPS would not otherwise have access to these programs due to the cost of the equipment and programming. 

This week-end, one hundred high school teams, 40 middle school teams and 30 elementary school teams from across New England will compete for spots at the VEX Robotics World Championships. Elementary school robotics teams from Worcester Public Schools that will be competing are the product of QCC’s Robotics Program.

VEX Robotics Competition is the largest competitive robotics competition in the world with about 15,000 registered teams.  The World Champion high school team has come from MA three times in the past six years!  Professor Lauer said recently, “I am in awe that we are responsible for incubating robotics teams that can compete on a world-class level.” 

Long-standing sponsors include EMC2, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation. Saint-Gobain, the Northrop Grumman Foundation and MA Board of Higher Education’s @Scale Grant round out the list.

“Through our support of the VEX Robotics World Championship, our city’s youth are able to put their talents, knowledge and expertise of STEM to the test right here in Worcester,” said Robert N. Smith, general manager and vice president, Saint-Gobain Bonded and Superabrasives North America. “We congratulate all of the competitors and wish them the best of luck at this weekend’s competition.”

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.