An alliance of high school robotics teams from Hazelwood Central High School, Lee's Summit West High School (Kansas City area) and SEMO 4-H (Southeast Missouri) captured the St. Louis FIRST Robotics Regional Championship competition held this weekend in St. Louis at the Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University. They will be moving on to compete in the championships in St. Louis next month.
More than 1,000 high school students representing more than 40 high schools from Missouri and four surrounding states participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition Regional for an opportunity to win recognition for design excellence, sportsmanship, teamwork and a chance to advance to the championships.
In second place was an alliance including the O'Fallon Township High School's MeTool Brigade (O'Fallon, Ill.), Francis Howell High Schools' RAVEN Robotics, and Engineers of Tomorrow (Kentucky).
Along with being on the championship-winning alliance, the Hazelwood Central "Robohawks" also earned the prestigious Chairman's Award and team mentor Catherine Sylve was honored with the Woodie Flowers award for the mentor who best demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math, and creative design.
The international FIRST Robotics Championships will be held in St. Louis next month and is expected to draw more than 22,000 visitors to the area for the competition April 25-28 at the America's Center and Edward Jones Dome.
As part of the program, teams of high school students work with professional mentors to design and build a robot in just six short weeks. More than 2,000 teams participate in the FIRST Robotics competitions across the U.S. This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for over $14 million in scholarships from leading universities, colleges and companies. Scholarship announcements will be made at the FIRST Championship in April.
Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway Human Transporter, FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and their communities. Now in its 21st season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates close to 2,343 teams from 49 states in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to compete in 52 regional competitions.
Over a six-week timeframe, high school students worked with professional engineering mentors to design a robot that solves a problem. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
FIRST Robotics Competition St. Louis Regional sponsors and volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including Boeing, Emerson, MasterCard Worldwide, and PepsiCo. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions and volunteers.