College of Engineering hosts Paso del Norte First Tech Challenge Robotics Qualifier
February 01, 2012 | UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
The University of Texas at El Paso College of Engineering will host the "Paso del Norte First Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Qualifier" on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Memorial Gym. The competition will run from 10 am to 6 pm.
FIRST's categories are divided by grade level beginning with the Junior First Lego league (Jr. FLL) for K-3 students followed by the First Lego League (FLL) grades 4-8, the First Tech Challenge (FTC) and the First Robotics Competition (FRC) for High school level students.
With the assistance of UTEP Engineering, student contestants build a robot made from re-usable, modular robotics. Competitors use Lego Mindstorms platforms to develop the entries. Lego Mindstorms is a building system of heavy-duty, aircraft-grade aluminum elements for construction, powerful driving motors, and expandable capabilities.
Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programing their robot to compete in a 12 x 12' arena to complete a task within a time period. The highest scoring team wins and advances to the regional competition on March 3rd, 2012 at Lubbock, Texas.
The FTC Robotics competition provides an opportunity for students to apply real-world math and science, develop strategic problem solving, organizational, and team-building skills.
"The image that most people have about robots comes from Hollywood movies, however they are technology marvels within the reach of our kids. At UTEP we are trying to attract more students into engineering by exposing them to FIRST robotic tournaments where they learn real technical skills and team work" said Dr. Virgilio Gonzalez, Associate Chairman for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
Participating local schools include Valle Verde ECHS, Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts, Cathedral High School and Albuquerque Home School Engineering and Robotics.
Winners can advance to the National Championships April 25-28 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The event is free and open to the public.
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