Little robots whizzed across the floor of the Show Me Center this Saturday for the FIRST Tech Robotics Challenge.
The competition pits tech-savvy high schoolers, and their mechanical inventions, against each other.
There were 45 schools at Saturday’s competition, and 45 different designs to complete one task, move plastic rings to a series of pegs.
The FIRST Tech Challenge encourages high schoolers to get hands-on with robots, in the hope that these same students will someday become the engineers and scientists of the future.
Joe Mobley is a sophomore from Kennett. He says it was his group’s first time in the competition.
“So we built a small, efficient robot that is just designed to score rings on the bottom peg. But we do it pretty efficiently. We just scored 100 points in last round. So our goal is small, simple and effective,” Mobley said.
Kendra Kelch is a junior at Cape Girardeau Central High School. She says the tournament is about more than building and programming robots.
“You think one way and Riley over here or Hussam could be thinking of a different thing. And then sometimes put all of the those together and it makes one awesome robot,” Kelch said. “It’s just a lot of cooperation and ideas thrown around. Put it all together and it works alot better than you thought yours would.”
Southeast Missouri teams that took home awards include schools from Chaffee and Kennett. Kennett advanced to the next round.
This year’s FIRST Tech Challenge will culminate in April with the world championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.