On Saturday, the ERAU’s Davis Learning Center Center was full of cheering teams of 4th through 8th graders supporting their robots’ attempts to move precisely around a table to manipulate different lego built objects. This year’s FIRST challenges all relate to water, how it is used, and how it is moved, stored and processed.
Thirteen teams from Yavapai county’s schools, scout and 4H groups, home schoolers, and others participated in this event. There are more than robots to the competition. Teams must present a project relating to a water problem they have identified and must propose a solution to the problem. They must also describe how the FIRST core values of teamwork, friendly competition, discovery, sharing experiences and fun informed their work. As event co-ordinator, Christine Sapio (Team 2186) said, “They are encouraged to compete hard, but respect all competitors.”
Not only the teams, but a large group of volunteer judges, referees, game field resetters and adult team sponsors (not to mention those crazy AV guys) made this competition run smoothly.
The chancellor of Embry Riddle was present and noted the high level of energy in the room. “If you challenge them, they accomplish amazing things,” he said. “If you don’t challenge them, you will never know what they can do.”
Each team receives a full feedback report on their performance in all areas, to assist them in preparing for future competitions. The top 4 teams will move on the the state tournament at ASU on January 13th and 14th.
Moving on to the state tournament this year:
Winners of the Project Award—Team 36026, Eagle Overdrive
Winners of the Robot Design Award AND the Robot Performance Award— Team 25940, Ridgeline Robotics
Winners of the Core Values Award—Team 32538, (C2 + A1) + L
Winners of the Champion’s Award—Team 33763, Humboldt Engineers
Congratulations to all for your hard work and dedication!
So what is FIRST you might ask? The full name is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It is an international organization with a presence in 80 countries. Its goals are to develop important life skills and interest in science, technology and math. partnering with corporations and foundations it offers millions of dollars in scholarships to its participants. for more information see its website at, FIRSTInspires.orgInspires.org