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This competency group may only be completed as an experience. Please select the “Experience” button above to see the description. 

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media and higher education platforms, or with colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Major Topics and Concepts



Are you participating in the FIRST®️ Robotics Competition or the FIRST®️ Tech Challenge and would like to earn credit for your learning? Then you have come to the right place! This experience is designed for students working on the engineering component of either of the FIRST®️ Robotics Competition or the FIRST®️ Tech Challenge to demonstrate mastery of key engineering concepts and skills and earn a half science elective credit. The VLACS Experience is designed in collaboration with FIRST®️ to allow students to build on what they are learning as a FIRST®️ participant and utilize the products that are produced through FIRST®️ to demonstrate mastery of engineering competencies.

Students may complete this experience before, during or after their participation in a FIRST®️ team. As of September 1 each year, students will no longer be able to use the previous year FIRST®️ participation to earn credit through VLACS. At this point, their experience will need to be based on participation in a FIRST®️ team for the current school year.

Credits .5

Competency Group Overview

Meets ICT graduation requirement.


  • Experience Design
    Students will design and refine their robotics experience for the purpose of learning and mastering the competencies. They will work with their instructor to identify Learning Activities and Deliverables tasks that will help them learn and demonstrate their mastery of the Engineering competencies
  • Defining an Engineering Problem and Exploring Solutions
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to define an engineering problem and explore solutions by researching and asking questions pertaining to the problem and utilizing a systematic approach to explore possible solutions to a task.
  • Designing an Engineering Solution
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of solution design by creating an outline of a solution to a complex engineering problem that includes a breakdown of required tasks and strengths and potential pitfalls in solution.
  • Building a Prototype
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the process of and purpose for building a prototype by building a prototype to explore the strengths and weaknesses of a proposed solution.
  • Refining an Engineering Solution: Test, Reflect, and Revise
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of the process used to test and improve a product by completing the process of testing, reflecting and revising a product to better perform desired tasks.


Students must be participating in the FIRST®️ Robotics Competition or the FIRST®️ Tech Challenge.

Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.