Hundreds of tech-savvy high school students from throughout Missouri and its surrounding states will put their robotic creations to the test on Saturday, March 4, during the FIRST Tech Challenge, a regional robotics championship for high school students hosted by Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The Missouri FIRST Tech Challenge championship will be held in the Varsity Gymnasium in Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman Building, located at 10th Street and Bishop Avenue (U.S. Highway 63).
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.
Nearly 50 teams from throughout the region are expected to take part in the Missouri S&T event. The competition 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.
Participants in this year’s competition – titled “Velocity Vortex” – will try to earn points by directing their robots to move various-sized balls around a court to meet specific goals. Each robot must also “park” in a specific location prior to the end of the match. A video of the game can be viewed at www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season.
Missouri S&T has hosted the FTC since 2011. Winners of the regional event will compete in the FTC Super-Regional for the North Region held March 30-April 1, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“Missouri S&T is proud of our longtime association with FIRST, and many of our current students participated in these robotics competitions when they were in high school,” says Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader, Missouri S&T chancellor. “Our mission of preparing students to solve society’s great challenges is in perfect alignment with FIRST. We look forward to hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge once again.”
Approximately 400 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.
For more information about FIRST and the FIRST Tech Challenge, visit firstinspires.org. To volunteer to help at the event, contact Linda Bright at firstname.lastname@example.org.