VEXcode VR Cleanup Challenge: Ukrainian children programmed a virtual cleaning robot

13 Feb 2023
Participants of VEXcode VR Cleanup Challenge

The VEXcode VR Cleanup Challenge has ended. The virtual challenge, an initiative of the NGO “Association Noosphere”,  was open to young programmers and robotics enthusiasts.

VEXcode VR Cleanup Challenge is the first official competition using the American robotics platform VEX in Ukraine. Children between the ages of 8 and 14 worked to complete the “Coral Reef Cleanup” mission, which required programming a virtual robot that would clean the ocean floor in a special simulator. 783 students from 23 regions of Ukraine, as well as children living in Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Slovakia and even Japan, registered to participate in the competition. 

The NGO “Association Noosphere” organized training for the participants to familiarize them with programming languages and mission features. 119 children submitted their projects and reached the finals.

The first level, “Hit the Number”, required participants to collect a fixed amount of debris from the coral reef as quickly as possible. It was won by Maria Shapovalenko from Dnipro. On the second level, “Fixed Time”, participants had to collect as many pieces of garbage as possible in a limited time. Anastasia Lysenko from Zaporizhzhia coped with the task the best. In the third level “Battery Life”, the goal was to collect the maximum amount of garbage before the robot’s battery runs out. On this level, first place was shared by Mykyta Sventytskyi from Kyiv and Dmytro Bobukh from Cherkasy.

All winners received gifts and great times. They were also introduced to VEX robotics and the basics of programming for future development in this field.

Robotics is one direction of STEM education, which involves the comprehensive study of technical and mathematical disciplines. NGO “Association Noosphere” and its co-founder and philanthropist Max Polyakov are developing this field in Ukraine to educate a new generation of engineers, IT specialists and innovators.