Indiana FIRST has selected high schools in four Indiana cities to host district and state tournaments for the 2017 Statewide Robotics Competition. The events feature high school robotics teams facing off for a chance to compete in national and international tournaments.
William Henry Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Penn High School in Mishawaka and Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis will each hold district competitions in March. A total of 49 high school teams are currently scheduled to take part in the events in hopes of advancing to the state championship event in April at Huntington North High School in Huntington.
"I was excited to see the level of interest in hosting events for the 2017 season," said Renee Becker-Blau, executive director of Indiana FIRST. "Over the summer we received a record number of proposals to host an event for the upcoming season. After considering venue locations, availability, and schedule the Indiana FIRST Board of Directors selected three host sites for District Competitions that will feed into a final pool of 32 state finalists competing at the 2017 Indiana State Championship at Huntington’s North High School."
As part of the competition, teams of 25 students or more will build and program robots to perform specific tasks against their competitors. In the 2016 event, which used a medieval theme, teams had to capture their opponents’ castle.
Betsy Baxter, event coordinator for Harrison High School, said last year’s district event was the largest of any kind, including sports, that the high school ever hosted. "This exposure has increased students’ robotics involvement exponentially, with nearly 30 new students signed up to participate in Harrison High School’s robotics programs for the 2016-2017 school year. Team members have the opportunity to work in a small-group environment with professional engineers in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math fields. They then go on to attend college pursuing STEM degrees. The events are exciting, engaging, and they attract students to this new co-curricular activity that they had potentially not considered joining before."
FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a global organization that includes more than 3,500 teams and 78,000 students and professional mentors. Hoosier participants are looking to qualify for the 2017 FIRST World Championship in St. Louis and Houston.
You can learn more about Indiana FIRST by clicking here.