Monday, March 20, 2017

Robotics teams from across the Midwest will convene for the FIRST Tech Challenge North Super-Regional robotics tournament March 29 - April 1 at the U.S. Cellular Center/DoubleTree Hotel & Convention Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The four-day event spotlights the hard work of middle and high school students who have spent weeks designing and building robots in hopes of dominating the FIRST Tech Challenge, a national educational program that encourages boys and girls to discover science, technology, engineering and math concepts while participating in a fast-paced team activity.

“FIRST Tech Challenge promotes exciting, project-based learning in a fun environment,” says Rebecca Whitaker, FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for Iowa, University of Iowa College of Engineering. “This experience gives students the knowledge and confidence they need to become innovation leaders.”

The build-up to the Super-Regional Championship starts in September, when teams receive information about the game and challenge.  With the help of adult volunteers, students build robots capable of completing complex tasks. This year, robots must be able to autonomously push buttons, roll rubber balls, and launch whiffle balls t

The Super-Regional tournament follows several months of community robotics meets, where students work out technical bugs and perfect their robot’s mechanical operations. In order to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge North Super-Regional, a team’s robot must beat out other robots at state and regional qualifying tournaments.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is open to students grades 7-12. Roughly 72 teams representing schools and communities in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will attend the 2017 Super-Regional competition. Winners from various categories will continue on to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship in St. Louis.

The FIRST Tech Challenge North Super-Regional competition is sponsored by Rockwell Collins and the Center for Energy Workforce Development: Get Into Energy. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes opening and closing ceremonies, qualifying matches, alliance selections, robot pit stop area, robot doctor station, and a RoboProm dance.

To view a video that explains the Velocity Vortex: