Cornfield Clash 2024

Story by Indra Vogel, SCD Concierge
Images by Benita Romero, SCD Concierge

The atmosphere at Siebel Center for Design buzzed with excitement on February 10th, marking the highly anticipated "Cornfield Clash" robotics tournament hosted by Illini VEX Robotics

Participants representing universities from across the Midwest hustled through the SCD Gallery, fully immersed in perfecting their robot designs before each competition round. The air crackled with tension fueled by passion, and enthusiasm echoed throughout the building all day, drawing in bystanders who observed eagerly as robots catapulted, collided, and vied for top honors. With impressive designs and spirited cheers filling the space, it was hard not to be swept up in the tournament's energy. Understanding the intricacies of robotics wasn't necessary to appreciate the exhilarating matches. Siebel Center for Design provided an ideal venue for the event, furnishing ample space where robotics teams could practice, innovate, and compete.


Various factors attracted students to robotics, with some even joining due to romantic interests, though they quickly emphasize that their commitment has since deepened well beyond initial motivations. Friendship emerged as a significant benefit of team involvement. When asked about his engagement with VEX, one Illinois student described the RSO as "the best thing I've ever done," a sentiment reflecting the Illini team's profound dedication.

He further highlighted his pride in the team and their design efforts, regardless of final rankings. Regardless of individual reasons for joining, it's evident that the entire VEX community, including volunteers, harbors a deep commitment to the community, demonstrated through their hard work in organizing a successful event. The Illini VEX team provided inspiring insights into the tournament, earnestly expressing their passion for the game above all else. Altogether, it was truly an unforgettable event!

Illini VEX Robotics is a resident RSO (registered student organization) of Siebel Center for Design. Through our resident program, we prioritize empowering student organizations to amplify their influence by providing a dedicated space to thrive and access to essential resources that enrich their endeavors. We go beyond mere accommodation, offering amenities like locker and project storage facilities, granting secure spaces for our resident organizations to safeguard their materials and innovations. Moreover, our resident program extends access to SCD's Shop & Media Studio, equipping students with the tools and facilities necessary to bring their visions to life.

Beyond physical infrastructure, our commitment to nurturing student organizations extends to comprehensive support in event planning, offering guidance every step of the way. From conceptualization to execution, we stand by our resident organizations, providing them with the necessary resources and expertise to bring their ideas to fruition. By fostering an environment where creativity flourishes and collaboration thrives, we strive to cultivate a space where student organizations not only survive but truly flourish at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.