Penn State York sponsoring FTC robotics championship Feb. 27

YORK, Pa. — Thirty-six teams of middle and high school students from across Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey and New York are registered for the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Championship Tournament, “FIRST RES-Q,” a robotics championship competition to be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Dallastown Area Intermediate School, located at 84 Beck Road in York. Penn State York is sponsoring the event but, due to construction on campus, the event was moved to this alternate location. The event is free and open to the public.

Opening ceremonies will be held at 10:45 a.m., followed by competitions throughout the day. Prior to the ceremony, teams will have an opportunity to get organized, register their robots, and prepare for competition. This is the sixth time the campus has sponsored an FTC event. The competition is open to the public to watch and it is free. More than 400 attendees, including competitors and spectators, are expected to attend.  

This year’s game link is FIRST RES-Q Game Animation. The 2015-16 game is modeled after rescue situations faced by mountain explorers all over the globe. Played by two alliances of two robots each, robots will score points by “resetting” rescue beacons; delivering rescue climbers to a shelter; parking on the mountain; and parking in the rescue beacon repair zone or floor goal.

Marshall F. Coyle, associate professor of engineering at Penn State York, is the volunteer coordinator for the event and is responsible for filling the many positions necessary to make the competition possible. It was his idea to bring the competition to campus six years ago.  

“This will be a single-division event played out on three competition fields,” said Coyle. “FIRST will be advancing seven teams forward to the East Super-Regional (ESR) competition to be held at the University of Scranton, March 18-20."

The acronym FIRST means "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," and the organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an accomplished inventor, who wanted to inspire young people to appreciate science and technology.

According to Thomas Zawislak, FIRST FTC affiliate partner, team members are part of an alliance trying to perform tasks on the field with their robots. 

The event emphasizes gracious professionalism; winning is nice but the design process and participant attitude are the important goals. Teams assist each other and members develop friendships and camaraderie throughout the competition.

Penn State York students, faculty, staff and business members from the York community work as volunteers during the competition, filling a variety of roles from judges to field tech advisers, scorekeepers, software inspectors, and more.  

Throughout the competition, teams are judged on their sportsmanship, performance of their robots, completion of tasks, ability to follow rules, and a variety of other criteria. Students in grades 7-12 are eligible take part in the competition.

York’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team 225 TechFire will be providing food services to make this a fun and tasty event.

For more information on the event sponsored by Penn State York and Dallastown Area Intermediate School, visit http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/pennsylvania-ftc-championship-tournament. For information about FIRST, visit http://www.usfirst.org/. 

Schedule for the Day

 7:00        Volunteers Arrive and Check-in
 7:45        Teams Arrive and Check-in
                Robot and Field Inspection Opens
 8:20        Judge Interviews Begin
10:15        Robot and Field Inspection Closes
                 Only Teams with Inspected Robots will Compete
10:30        Drivers Meeting on Competition Field
10:45        Opening Ceremonies
11:00        Qualification Matches Begin
12:30        Lunch Break
 1:15        Qualification Matches Resume
 3:30        Start Semifinals
 4:45        Start Finals
 6:00        Awards and Closing Ceremonies
 6:30        Event Complete

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Last Updated February 26, 2016