One of the goals of the WIRED Initiative of the Workforce Investment Board and the Department of Polytechnic Studies at Southeast Missouri State University is the enhancement of the math, engineering, technology, and science (METS) fields in our region. WIRED and Southeast have partnered to support teams in taking part in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a robotics competition for high-school students designed to provide young people with an opportunity to discover the excitement and rewards of science, technology, and engineering.

What is the FTC?

The FTC is administrated by FIRST, an organization supported by over 85,000 volunteers and 3,000 corporations. The competition had nearly 1,000 teams take part last year in locations throughout the United States, including St. Louis. Participating schools obtain a kit of parts, which they must use to design and build a robot that can accomplish the competition objectives. These objectives will be distributed September 12 for the competition in December at St. Louis. The competition is meant to be an extracurricular activity for teams of 4-10 students. Many schools in Missouri have already bought into the benefits of this program, and it is our objective to bring these benefits to your school as well (at little to no cost to you).

Where Do WIRED and Southeast Come In?

WIRED will be providing financial support for the competition, covering a participating high school’s registration fees, the cost for the competition’s robot kit, and some additional costs up to about $200 (for a total contribution of up to $1500 per school). This represents the vast majority of the costs for the competition. Southeast will be providing organizational and technical assistance for the high schools, which includes providing workshops on the robot kits, supporting the formation of teams, and finding project mentors. We understand the apprehension in starting a new group at your school, but we will work hard to ensure it is a worthwhile endeavor for everyone involved.

WIRED Representative

Janet Witter
(573) 334-0990
760 S. Kingshighway, Suite C
Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Southeast Representative

John Dudley
(573) 576-2741
One University Plaza/MS 6825
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Interested in Learning More?

We invite you and any interested faculty/staff or industrial representatives to attend an information session to learn more about the competition and the support we will provide. The information sessions will be held at regional centers in Cape Girardeau, Park Hills, Portageville, and Poplar Bluff on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Thursday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to noon.  The information sessions will allow you to assess if this is a good fit for your school before you commit to this program. More information will be provided in a packet your school should be receiving by mail shortly. Unfortunately, we must ask you to work quickly if you would like to take part, as resources may be limited, and the deadline for commitment from teams is September 1.

Please come to the informational session that is most convenient for you. We will be providing lunch, so please R.S.V.P. to a contact below for the August 11 and August 13 information sessions by Friday, Aug. 7. We would also appreciate it if you could pass this information on to others at your school or in your community that may be interested (possibly math, physics, science or technical instructors or technical personnel from local industry). We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in early August!

Informative Links

IET Wired Robotics

Partial Funded Disclaimer

This product was partially funded by a grant awarded under the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment & Training Administration.  The information contained in this product was created by a grantee organization and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. All references to non-governmental companies or organizations, their services, products, or resources are offered for informational purposes and should not be construed as an endorsement by the Department of Labor.  This product is copyrighted by the institution that created it and is intended for individual organizational, non-commercial use only.


Polytechnic Building 216
Department of Polytechnic Studies
One University Plaza, MS 6825
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701