Starting VEX Robotics Clubs
While starting a new VEX team is fun, it's actually better to start a club. Setting up clubs is far more effectual for STEM learning. A few kids building awesome robots is good but does not decrease the general STEM gap any more. A few kids setting up shop, isn't a huge help, they are already geared towards a STEM career.
Larger scale involvement and clubs are needed to make any significant dent in the STEM gap. Lots of teachers are not technically savvy enough to do so and there is a limit to the coverage per teacher. School funding as it is will not turn the tide either. More competitive teams tend to seem to come from home schooled kids or clubs or private schools where money is less of an issue for proper focus.
There are a number of things that can be spread across a number of teams, reducing the direct cost to a team. For example, a full official field set with game elements will cost $1,500. That's a lot for a single team to cover. But split 5 ways, it's only $300 per team.