Several local schools competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition held at Midland Dow High school along with 40 other schools from around the state. FIRST stands for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
Each year the teams are given a challenge and this years challenge required the teams to build a robot to stack recycle bins and place them in a designated area. If the teams place a trash can on the stack they get triple points and bonus points for having a noodle in the trash can. The schools from Saginaw County included Freeland, Bridgeport, Heritage, Arthur Hill, Hemlock, SASA, SCC. Each team is assigned a number when they form the team and register with FIRST. The lower the number the older the team. Hemlock and Heritage made it all the way to the final round with Hemlock’s alliance finishing first, and Heritage’s Alliance finishing Second.
Many of the teams are sponsored by local businesses, if you are interested in sponsoring or mentoring a team contact your school, I am sure they would welcome the help.
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