On Saturday, February 22, about 180 youth convened at Weber State University for a FIRST Tech Challenge® (FTC) robotics competition designed to engage high school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
FIRST Tech Challenge is an exciting and fun global robotics program for youth in grades 7-12, where teams of students design, build, and program robots to compete in a robot game against other teams. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
Three of the teams who competed were recipients of a partial scholarship provided by the Society of Women Engineers, Greater Salt Lake Section. The section was awarded a $1,500 Sweeter Futures award in recognition of the outstanding STEM outreach efforts put forth by membership in 2013. SWE GSL used the award money to support three Utah FTC teams. To apply for the funding, teams were required to submit a one page document of 400 words or less explaining why they should be awarded the grant.
The following three teams were selected to receive the funding:
Team 7566, the Falcons from Clearfield, Team 5895, the Lady Bots from Park City, and team 5645, the Socket Cops from Ogden, UT.
Two of the teams won awards at the championship competition. The Socket Cops (5645) received the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. This award is given to the team the judges feel has the most Innovative and creative robot design solution to any or all aspects of the game challenge. Elements of this award include elegant design, robustness and ‘out of the box’ thinking with regard to design. A team’s Engineering Notebook must show the design of the component and the team’s robot, and succinctly describe how the team arrived at that solution.
The Lady Bots, an all-female team, were the third place Inspire award winners. The Inspire awards are given to teams that the judges feel truly embodies the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. This team serves as an inspiration to what this program, and the young minds involved, can accomplish. Teams that receive this award have performed well in all judging categories. Based on rankings and advancement criteria, the Lady Bots advanced to the FTC West Super-Regional Championship on March 20-22, 2014 at the McClellan Conference Center in Sacramento California. Good luck ladies!