FIRST Tech Challenge returns to Missouri University of Science and Technology March 2

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On February 28, 2024

robotics challenge

CENTERSTAGE is the theme of this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge, which returns to the S&T campus starting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. Photo courtesy of FIRST in Missouri.

Learning takes center stage – or the gymnasium floor, in this case – starting at 11:30 a.m.  Saturday, March 2, when FIRST Tech Challenge returns to Missouri University of Science and Technology for its Missouri/Kansas championship. The acronym FIRST stands for for inspiration and recognition of science and technology. FIRST Tech Challenge is an international robotics program for grades 7-12, offered by FIRST in Missouri both inside and outside the classroom.

CENTERSTAGE is the theme of this year’s competition, presented by RTX, formerly Raytheon Technologies. During the competition, hundreds of tech-savvy students will show off their skills and their robots in the varsity gymnasium at Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman Building, located at 10th Street and Bishop Avenue. Four teams will advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston, April 17-20. Judges will also name four individual students as Dean’s List finalists advancing for further recognition.

FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for students who want to compete head-to-head following a sports model. Teams will compete on a 12′ X 12′ field, in an alliance format, with robots they have designed, built and programmed. The standard robot kit is reusable and can be programmed using a variety of java-based programming languages. Teams, including students, coaches, and mentors, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles, such as rapid prototyping. Awards are earned for the competition, as well as community outreach, robot design and other accomplishments.

This year’s competition will include 36 teams with over 300 students from Missouri and Kansas that advanced to the championship through one of several regional league tournaments. Teams compete on and off the playing field for awards that recognize robot design and performance, community outreach, gracious professionalism, and promoting FIRST in their communities.

“The Kummer Center for STEM Education is excited to welcome the FIRST Tech Challenge championship back to campus,” says Courtney Jones, director of the Kummer Center for STEM Education at Missouri S&T. The acronym STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. “The challenge is an important part of our K-12 collaboration. There is a deep synergy between this event and S&T’s deep roots in robotics, whether it’s our summer camps or activities throughout the year. Many of the students competing in this challenge will come to S&T and go on to use their problem-solving skills as STEM professionals.”

The competition is free and open to spectators. The action will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person. Live scoring will also be available online.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

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On February 28, 2024. Posted in Kummer Center for STEM Education

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