Annual Robotics Competition Returns to UTEP
MATTHEW EUZARRAGA | January 29, 2018
What: FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for local seventh through 12th graders.
When: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Best visuals at 11 a.m.
Where: Memorial Gym, UTEP campus
The University of Texas at El Paso's College of Engineering will host First Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competition this weekend on campus.
FTC is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at Memorial Gym. The event is free and open to the public. FTC is a series of robotics competitions for students from throughout the region in grades seventh through 12th in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field (STEM). By using engineering and robotics to challenge and engage young minds, FTC hopes to instill engineering principles such as respect, the importance of community and gracious professionalism through cooperation.
This year's theme is relic recovery. It challenges participants to create a robot and an engineering notebook that will be judged by industry professionals.
In addition to learning how to build robots, students will get a chance to interact with professional engineers. Vanessa Garcia, a senior mechanical engineering student and ambassador for FTC said competitions such as these are a good way to introduce young minds to the STEM field.
"When I was young I participated in these challenges and it exposed me the field of engineering," Garcia said. "FTC is a great way to gain career development and exposure to the field at a young age."
Spectators will also be able to watch teams take on complex science challenges, and participate in building their own robot using a giant Lego pit that will be on site, Garcia said.
FTC is part of the annual For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology (FIRST) family of robotics competitions. This year, students from El Paso, Marfa, Texas, and Terlingua, Texas, are expected to compete.
For more information, please visit robotics.utep.edu.