Robotics regional competition kicks-off in Pekin

Feb 28, 2014

The international FIRST Robotics competition kicked-off today in Pekin. Students in FIRST Robotics build and operate robots from identical boxes of parts with the goal of the robots competing in like tasks against other teams. The Central Illinois regional events includes forty teams from six midwestern states. Tessa Boots is on the high school robots team in O’Fallon, Illinois.  She says you don’t have to be fluent in engineering to compete:

 “I wouldn't consider myself a mega-nerd or even a big mechanical person. I’ve learned so much and you don't have to have special skills to do it, it really just how involved you want to be.”

 Boots and other students help with fundraising to support the teams with things like travel. Students say the competition helps them with public speaking, interpersonal communication and teamwork skills. Officials say the FIRST Robotics event uses the competition to propel STEM education skills. There are four other regionals being held this weekend in the U.S. and Toronto. The winners of the regional events proceed to the April Championship in St. Louis.