EDMONDS, Washington (STPNS) -- Look out LeBron James. A robot may one day force you into retirement.
In front of a large crowd, students from local high schools competed at the “FIRST Robotics Competition” regional “Rebound Rumble” held at CenturyLink Field Event Center the weekend of March 22-24.
More than 90 high school robotics teams and 2,500 students from the Pacific Northwest and beyond participated.
This year, the competition was to build a robot to play 3-on-3 basketball via remote control. Schools built alliances of three teams to fill their three-robot roster for the competition.
The teams had just six weeks to build their robots.
Each alliance tried to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match.
Balls scored in higher hoops score teams more points. Team alliances were awarded bonus points if they were balanced on bridges at the end of the match.
The event encouraged students to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as they competed in a robotics basketball challenge using Microsoft’s KINECT technology.
“We're excited about the competition,” said Craig DeVine, FIRST Team 1778 advisor at Mountlake Terrace High School.
“Our students and mentors have worked long and hard since early January to develop a great robot.”
The teams competed to earn a spot at the national FIRST Championships to be held in St. Louis on April 25-28.
Lynnwood High School won an Engineering Inspiration Award and qualified for the St. Louis competition.
Students participating in FIRST are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from leading universities, colleges and companies.
Since its beginning, the FIRST organization has positively impacted attitudes toward math, science and teamwork among students taking part in the competition.
The program has also resulted in an increased number of students pursuing internships and employment opportunities in science and engineering, especially among companies that support FIRST teams.
The Seattle Regional was sponsored by Microsoft, JCPenney, Intellectual Ventures, Google, Platt Electric, the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Puget Sound, F5 Networks, Army ROTC, SPEEA and ITT Technical Institute.
A full listing of results from the Seattle FIRST Robotics Competition can be found at www.firstwa.org.
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