40 Teams Set to Compete and Collaborate at Saline High School Robotics Event, Friday and Saturday
(Submitted by Saline Singularity - The Saline High School Robotics Team)
While many people’s only experience with competitive robotics is television shows akin to BattleBots, students at Saline and around the state, country, and world are all working collaboratively to build robots and develop the next generation of STEAM leaders. This year, the Saline community has a unique opportunity to experience these exciting events themselves, as a FIRST Robotics competition is being hosted at Saline High School on March 30th and April 1st.
Now, if it's not BattleBots, what exactly is it that students are doing? Students build a robot from scratch each year to compete in all-new challenges, developed by FIRST, the national organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Teams are given only six short weeks to complete the entire engineering design process, from brainstorming to designing concepts to manufacturing our final design. This year’s game, CHARGED UP, presented by Haas, involves moving cubes and cones from around the field and your team’s substations and delivering them into ‘the grid’. In addition, at the end of the match, the robots must attempt to balance on a charging station in order to score additional points. Each match contains both an autonomous period and driver-controlled period to showcase each robot’s abilities. A video animation of this year’s challenge can be found here.
FIRST Robotics is an amazing opportunity for students to gain real-world experience starting as early as elementary school. At the high school level, students are given the opportunity to specialize in either mechanical, electrical, programming, computer-aided design, or marketing and managing our team through the business subteam. Students gain not only engineering experience, but also experience collaborating on a major design project and numerous leadership skills on the completely student-run team. In addition, FIRST is about more than just robots. Summarized by their slogans, Gracious Professionalism and Co-opertition, FIRST competitions place collaborating, assisting other teams when they need it, and giving back and promoting STEAM within the community far above just winning matches.
Once again this year, everyone has the ability to experience this unique competition environment! Forty teams and over fourteen hundred students will be coming to Saline to compete in our event, hoping to advance to the state and national level. This is a great opportunity for the community to see what robotics is all about, show other schools around that state that Saline is serious about STEAM, and also an opportunity to promote local businesses. Competitions are exciting events, even including live announcers and play-by-play commentary for an exciting time watching robots compete. Matches will be occurring on 11-1 and 2-7 on Saturday, with the final qualifying matches from 9:30-12:30 on Sunday and playoffs from 2-5.
More information about the event, including the schedule, can be found on the FIRST in Michigan website.