The First Robotics Competition was held at UNCP from March 16 to March 18, making it a three-day event.
This competition brought high schoolers from all around North Carolina to compete for a chance to move to nationals and gain access to exclusive scholarships from hundreds of universities. These students built their own robots and used them to perform different tasks.
“They’re coming out here and they’re so excited to show off what they’ve done,” an onlooking parent said.
“They’re really proud of their robots and they should be.”
“These kids are learning things in high school that are going to get them hired in the real world,” another parent said. The competition was held in the main gym in the English E. Jones Health and Physical Education Center.
The gym was transformed into an 8-bit video game where teams battled to see which side of the arena would come out victorious. The object of the game is to use each team’s robot to move power blocks around the field and into different areas to accumulate points. This could be a smaller scale on the floor, or a raised platform in the center of the field.
The robots needed to have the ability to grab onto the blocks, move around the field freely and raise the blocks into the air without dropping them. Certain robots had the special ability of climbing, which allowed them to face the boss of the round.
Also, facing the boss gave them extra points, as well. One thing that stood out about this competition, as opposed to others, is when any team suffered a loss, the other teams near them rallied to help them out. For, it is a core idea within the competition.
For example, if a robot broke down in the middle of a match, all of the teams surrounding them that were not currently competing would run to the aid of the injured team. The focus of the competition was promoting positivity and being team players.
If a team was caught bad-mouthing another group during the competition, they were docked points from their final score.
In the end, all of the teams came together and wished each other farewell until the next competition and the winners move on to nationals.