Missouri University of Science and Technology has been selected to host a statewide robotics competition for high school students – the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) – over the next three years, beginning next February.
The FTC is expected to attract dozens of teams to the campus for the event. The FTC championship will be held Feb. 26, 2011, at the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building on the Missouri S&T campus.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is a nationwide robotics competition involving teams of up to 10 students between the ages of 14-18 in grades 9-12. Each team designs, builds and programs robots for a tournament-style competition based on competitive sports. For instance, last year’s FTC game, called HotShot, required each team to build a robot that could shoot plastic balls into goals in and around a 13.7-square-meter playing field.
The challenge is sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders” through participation in various robotics programs.
Next year’s national championship will also be held in Missouri, as St. Louis was selected as the host city for that event for the next three years.
“The citizens of Missouri consistently demonstrate that they truly understand the mission of FIRST and share our viewpoint on the importance of helping young people reap the rewards and excitement of an education and a career in science and technology,” says Dean Kamen, CEO of DEKA and founder of FIRST. “We are thrilled that Missouri S&T, known throughout the state for innovative engineering programs that, like FIRST, go beyond books and lectures to encourage solutions for real-world challenges, will host the FIRST Tech Challenge state championship.”
“Missouri S&T is proud of our longtime association with FIRST, as many of our current students participated in these robotics competitions when they were in high school,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor John F. Carney III. “Our mission of preparing students to solve society’s technological problems is in perfect alignment with FIRST. We look forward to hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge over the next three years.”
More than 75 members of Missouri S&T’s freshman class participated in FIRST robotics programs.
In addition to FTC, FIRST also sponsors the FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students, the FIRST LEGO League events for students in grades 4-8 and the Jr. FIRST LEGO League for students from kindergarten to the third grade.
More information about FIRST and the FIRST Tech Challenge is available online.