University of Vermont

Office Of Student And Community Relations

UVM to Host International Robot Competition March 1

robot competition
Competitors ready their robots at the 2013 FIRST Tech Challenge, hosted by UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. (Photo: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist)

The University of Vermont will again play host to the global sensation FIRST Tech Challenge on Saturday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UVM Davis Center. This is the second year the university has hosted the event, which pits teams of 7th-12th graders in head-to-head competitions using robots they have designed, built and programmed performing various tasks on a 12-by-12 foot diamond-shaped field.

This year 28 teams from ten states will compete for three slots in the Eastern Regional Championship. The top teams will advance to the International FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, Mo., in April. More than 300,000 students, coaches and mentors from 50 countries around the world participate in three levels of FIRST challenges, many of them aiming for a spot at the championships. Ten teams from Vermont, up from four last year, are participating in the UVM event. 

UVM provost Davis Rosowsky will deliver welcoming remarks to the competing teams at 10 a.m. The robot competitions will take place throughout the day. Qualification matches will happen between 12:30 and 3:45 p.m. The final matches are scheduled for 4 p.m. 

FIRST, an acronym of “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” was founded in 1989 by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, perhaps most famous for creating the two-wheeled Segway. FIRST has held robotic competitions since 1992.

The mission of FIRST is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation and that foster well rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.”

Watch a live stream of the event.

Learn more on the FIRST website.