High School Robotics Tournament Jan. 29 at Southeast

Forty-two area high school teams are scheduled to compete in the sixth annual FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) robotics competition Jan. 29 at Southeast Missouri State University. This year’s event – The Velocity Vortex -- will be the largest event of its type in the state and will be held in the Show Me Center. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Head to head competitions will start around noon. The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a competition in which teams of high school students ages 13-18 spend months putting together and programming robots to compete against other area teams. The event at Southeast -– which emphasizes contributions of others, friendly competition, learning and community involvement -- is one of more than nearly 200 events taking place in 10 countries with the ultimate goal of making it to the World Championship in St. Louis in April. The FIRST Technology Challenge is a nationwide high school robotics event designed for those who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of about 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Teams, including coaches and mentors, are required to develop a strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. FIRST was founded to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. It is a not-for-profit organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. Questions about the competition may be directed to and more information is available from Dr. Brad Deken at Southeast Missouri State University at (573) 651-2104 or bdeken@semo.edu.