Frisbee Throwing, Tower Climbing Robots Compete
Central Tech's Team "Storm" - #2389- created by Pre-Engineering students and partnering with Tinker Air Force Base, blows into the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in St. Louis April 24-27.
Five teams from Oklahoma technology centers took top awards at “The Ultimate Ascent,” the 2013 Oklahoma Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.
Fourteen CareerTech teams built and programmed robots in six weeks for the competition. They competed against 42 other teams from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and Oregon at the event March 28-30 at Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is an international organization seeking to revolutionize the world of science and technology through skill-building programs and activities for high school students.
“This year’s competition entailed programming the robot to pick up and throw Frisbees into designated goals and then climb up a tower to deliver more Frisbees on the top of the tower. These students and mentors are awesome. It is a great game to watch, too,” said Tina Fugate, Science, Technology Engineering and Math - STEM - and academic coordinator at Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
CareerTech’s regional winners are Central Technology Center, Drumright, No. 1 finalist; Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Shawnee, FIRST Dean’s List No. 2 finalist and the Engineering Inspiration Award, regional winners No. 1 finalist; and Tri County Technology Center, Bartlesville, regional winners No. 2 finalist and the Industrial Design Award.
Two other CareerTech teams also won awards. Tulsa Memorial Pre-Engineering won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, the Industrial Safety Award and the Judges Award, and Meridian Technology Center, Stillwater, earned the Team Spirit Award.
Oklahoma teams launched the six-week challenge for junior and senior high school students at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in January. They participated in a nationally televised unveiling of FIRST 2013 Game, “The Ultimate Ascent,” and spent the day working with industry professionals to start the robot building process.
FIRST not only gives students creative work opportunities, but it also gives professionals the chance to be involved in career education. Engineering professionals mentor teams throughout robot construction and competition. Local industries support the OK Regional FIRST Robotics Competition financially and through individual team support.
“Aside from technical skills gained and refined through FIRST competition, students are also able to develop interpersonal and teamwork skills that will be vital to a positive work environment,” Fugate said. “Through the organization’s innovative concept of gracious professionalism, students are encouraged to respect and work with other teams and team members while demonstrating high-quality work.”
Many Oklahoma FIRST Robotics team members also receive hands-on STEM education in CareerTech Pre-Engineering academies at technology centers.
For more information about FIRST Robotics or Oklahoma CareerTech STEM Education contact Tina Fugate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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