More than 500 tech-savvy middle and high school students from across Missouri and Kansas will put their robotic creations to the test on Saturday, March 7, during the FIRST Tech Challenge SKYSTONE Missouri Championship, hosted by Missouri S&T.
The FIRST Tech Challenge will be held in the Gibson Arena in Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman Building, located at 10th Street and Bishop Avenue (U.S. Highway 63). The event is free to attend and open to public.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is a nationwide robotics program for students in grades 7 through 12 in which teams design, build, code and operate robots to play a themed floor game. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, student develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while working as a team.
Participants in this year’s competition –SKYSTONE presented by Qualcomm – will have their robots collect plastic building blocks to build towers as tall as they can and place a capstone on each tower’s top. 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 firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season.
In addition to designing and building robots, FIRST Tech Challenge students raise funds, design and market their team brand, and participate in community outreach to earn specific awards during the competition season. High school FIRST participants are eligible to apply for over $80 million in college scholarships from 200 scholarship providers, including Missouri S&T.
Missouri and Kansas have over 200 FIRST Tech Challenge teams. The 48 at the Missouri Championship will compete to be one of 10 teams that advance to compete at a FIRST Championship in Houston in mid-April.
“Missouri S&T is proud of our 10-year association with FIRST, and many of our current students participated in FIRST programs when they were in high school,” says Erica Reven, the FIRST Tech Challenge coordinator for S&T and a business services consultant in enrollment management. “We are excited to see our FIRST Alumni organization on campus come out and give back to the community.”
FIRST offers programs for multiple age groups, including FIRST Robotics Competition for students in grades 9-12; FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST LEGO League Jr. for Grades K-4.
For more information about FIRST and the FIRST Tech Challenge, or to volunteer at the event, visit firstinspires.org.