Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/14/12: FTC Bowled Over Robotics Competition

My company PTC sponsors the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge so I was able to participate for the last two years as a judge. This is a competition for High School students to build a robot and compete with it in the ring and in many other categories which I as a judge interviewed and judged them on. These included Innovation of Design, Design aspects, Motivation, Connection with the community, Think - for their Engineering Notebook, and Inspire as a combination award of who placed highly and did well in matches. Here is one team that had a lot of support from PTC.  I found out later they made it through the qualifier. 
Vision for FIRST: "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." - Dean Kamen, Founder
This year's competition was called Bowled Over
It was so nice to see so many young people interested in science and engineering. It is great we have something like this for young people. Many of the groups we spoke to were very inspiring and were very impressive individuals. I know it must have been intimidating to have a panel of 3 judges asking them questions, but the enthusiasm for their robots showed through. And for me it was nice seeing some young ladies involved also. Being one of 3 women in my Aerospace Engineering classes I knew what it was like being in the minority in an Engineering field.
Another PTC Logo.
Another cool robot by the team from Lexington - 2 Bits and a Byte who received the overall Inspire award, and I found out after won the whole competition.
Robots during competition getting caught up.
Also one of the High Schools in our town competed called Shawsheen Technical HS.  I talked to their coach and they were having a tough day competing.  Here they are tipped over.  So heartbreaking when you know how much work they put in to compete.
 I hope all of the teams had fun today, I know I did.

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