Amarillo Hosts District Area ‘FIRST’ Robotics Competition

Local News

The Amarillo Technology Initiative (ATI) will host the FIRST Robotics Competition March 7-9 at the Amarillo Civic Center. The event is hosted in collaboration with First Robotics, The Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning, The Texas Computer Education Association, Amarillo College, Dell, and the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council, 

The competition, which was founded by First Robotics in 1989 and based in Manchester, NH, is designed to encourage students to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields.
“Robotics is a program that is fundamental to STEAM education. This competition is the first of many opportunities coming to Amarillo for our students to actively participate in education that will profoundly impact their future success.” ATI Chairman, Rich Gagnon, said.

The 2019 event, themed “Destination: Deep Space”, pairs high school students with adult mentors to design and build robots that compete against one another in a high-energy environment. This event combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program ROBOTS to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. 

 “This is AACAL’s 7th year to be involved in FIRST Robotics, and we’ve found it to be the best academic competition for our students,” said AACAL Principal Jay Barrett. “It truly engages our learners in hands-on, scenario-based, real-world activities where they have to think critically as a team to build the best robot possible. Plus, it teaches our students how to be better communicators and collaborators, since they get to compete with two other teams each round in this action-packed event.”

For more information, including a full schedule, see the FIRST website. Information regarding volunteering for the event can be found at the ATI Facebook page. The event will be free to the public. Teams must register through their high schools to compete.

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