The goal of the VEX Robotics Competition is to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects through hands-on activities, and the recent Clash in the Canyons competition in Calabasas, Calif., a qualifying event for VEX, drew student robotics teams from around the world. "We get e-mails from past students who are pursuing careers in engineering and science, telling me that compared to what they’ve done here, some of their college classes are easy," said Nancy McIntyre, one of the event's organizers.

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