State FIRST Robotics competition returns to Campbell Saturday

High-school students from across North Carolina will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST® Robotics Competition, to be held Saturday and Sunday in Campbell’s Pope Convocation Center.

Thirty-two teams of students and engineering and technical mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, mathematics and technology on the Gore Arena floor. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

This will mark the third consecutive year Campbell has hosted this event, which draws more than 800 students from high schools across the state.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the Slingshot water purification system and the “Luke” robotic prosthetic arm, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. The FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates 3,650 teams in the U.S. and 26 other countries worldwide to compete in 63 Regional Events, 85 District Events, and 10 District Championships.

The top teams from this weekend’s competition will move on to compete in the international FIRST® Championship to be held April 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

FIRST Robotics competition“What we’re doing is way more than a competition. While not every robot can win, all of the kids do,” said Donald Bossi, president of FIRST, adding, “FIRST inspires a lifelong love of learning that is critical to persevere in today’s ever-changing workforce. We’re developing the innovators, technology leaders, and creative problem solvers who will make the world a better place.”

Campbell University is excited to be able to bring students from across the state to its campus to learn more about the recently launched School of Engineering and the scholarships available to FIRST students to attend Campbell.

“By showcasing our colleges and universities with events like this, our students broaden their horizons and start on the pathway to well-paying jobs here in North Carolina,” said Marie Hopper, president of FIRST North Carolina.

This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $50 million in scholarships being made available by nearly 200 scholarship providers.

FIRST North Carolina sponsors and volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including Qualcomm, Duke Energy, TE Connectivity and United Technologies Aerospace Systems. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional Mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and volunteers.