Crowds gather to watch robotics competition at Penn State York

More than 500 people packed the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center at Penn State York to watch 32 teams of middle and high school students compete in the First Tech Challenge (FTC) South Central Pennsylvania Regional Qualifier, a robotics tournament, on Saturday, Jan. 25. The alliance of Ozone (Robot 61) from Oxford, Pa.; LANlords (Robot 4977) from Millersville, Pa.; and foobar (Robot 6045) from Oxford, Pa., won the competition. Each team will move on to the state championship set for March 1 at Millersville University.

Penn State York is one of the several regional sites. The qualifiers from the regionals compete in the State Championship, being held Saturday, March 1, at Millersville University, Millersville, Pa. Teams that qualify from the states will then proceed into the Super Regional, April 3 to 5 at the York Expo Center, Memorial Hall, York, Pa.

Team Ratzo (Robot 6208) from York, Pa., made it into the semifinals but did not move on to the finals. Team Ratzo was also honored with the Think Award. This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The engineering section of the notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team. The team’s engineering notebook should focus on the design and build stage of the team’s robot. Journal entries of interest to judges for this award will include those describing the underlying science and mathematics of the robot design and game strategies, the designs, re-designs, successes and those "interesting moments" when things weren’t going as planned. A team is not a candidate for this award if they have not completed the Engineering Section of the Engineering Notebook. 

Team Ratzo is moving on to the state championship thanks to their finish in a previous competition.

Minnie MASH (Robot 4856) from West Vincent, Pa., won the Inspire Award given by the FTC to the team that the judges consider truly embodies the challenge of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a role model FTC team and serve as an inspiration to other teams, acting with gracious professionalism both on and off the playing field. This team understands how to communicate their experiences and knowledge to other teams, sponsors and the judges. They are moving on to the state championship.

View photos from the competition at York.

For more results from competitions in Pennsylvania, visit

Last Updated January 30, 2014