UNCP to host statewide robotics competition March 17-18

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FIRST Robotics

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 FIRSTRobotics Competition.

The competition will be held Saturday and Sunday inside the Jones Athletic Center on the campus of UNC Pembroke. Thirty-seven teams of students and engineering and technical mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, mathematics, and technology.

Robeson Early College High School’s team, RobCoBots, led by Coach Keenan Locklear, will be among the competitors. The other teams are from Raleigh, Colfax, Durham, Greenville, Charlotte, Wilmington, Southern Pines, Burgaw and rookie teams from Mount Holly, Franklin, Cary, Laurinburg, Hampstead and Burgaw.

Opening ceremonies begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Competition will continue through Sunday. Admission is free.

They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

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. More than 800 students will compete at the UNC Pembroke District Event to earn a spot at the FIRST North Carolina State Championship April 7-8, and then the international FIRSTChampionship to be held April 18-21 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

FIRST POWER UP, the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition game, finds teams trapped in an 8-bit video game. Each three-team alliance has three ways to help defeat the boss: Tipping the scale or alliance’s switch in their favor to earn points, exchanging power cubes for power ups (force, boost, and levitate) to gain a timed temporary advantage during the match, and climbing the scale tower to face the boss. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match, which includes autonomous and teleoperated periods, defeats the boss and wins the game.