Students from 10 local schools built robots and competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition at the Cintas Center on Saturday.
The competition challenges students to work with professional mentors to design and build a robot then contend in competitions to measure the effectiveness of the robot. Each team works with a mentor to solve a problem within six weeks and must use a standard kit of parts and a common set of rules. Teams use the parts to build the robots and then compete in games designed by Dean Kamen, Dr. Woodie Flowers and other professionals.
Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway, attended the event and says he started the program more than 20 years ago because he wants to make inventing accessible and exciting to kids so they will become as passionate about science as they are about sports.
"These kids have to get good at thinking and problem solving and engineering and inventing and FIRST helps them do that," said Kamen.
The robots competed in a basketball competition to see how many baskets they could make. There were qualifying matches followed by final round matches and the awards ceremony on Saturday afternoon. The winner of FIRST Robotics Competition Queen City Regional will earn a spot at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis.