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 9, during the FIRST Tech Challenge, a regional robotics championship for high school students hosted by Missouri S&T.
The Missouri FIRST Tech Challenge state 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 and 18 in grades 9-12. Each team designs, builds and programs robots for a tournament-style competition.
Forty-eight 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 “Rover Ruckus” – will try to earn points by collecting plastic, colored balls on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field and dropping them into their respective collection areas. Teams will also have to have the robots lift themselves up onto an elevated center island on the field at the end of the game round. A video of the game can be viewed online at firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season.
Missouri S&T has hosted the FTC since 2011. Winners of the regional event will compete at a FTC World Championship held in April in Detroit and Houston.
“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 Tyler Reyes, FIRST Tech Challenge coordinator and a student service coordinator in marketing and enrollment management at Missouri S&T. “We look forward to hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge this year for its 30th season of competition.”
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, or to volunteer at the event, visit firstinspires.org or contact Reyes at 573-341-6348.