Ellicott City robotics team to move on to FIRST Championships

roboticsA robotics team from Ellicott City earned an invitation to the FIRST Championships in St. Louis next month for their performance in the 2013 FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) Maryland Championship Feb. 23.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab played host to 32 teams with more than 300 high school students competing at the event. Team 3113, Some Disassembly Required from Boy Scout Troop 793 in Ellicott City, also placed second for the Inspire Award given to the team that the judges felt truly embodied the challenge of the FTC program.


FIRST inspires technology/engineering

This season's "Ring It Up™" game was a fast-paced test as two-robot alliances worked to gather rings and place them on a central rack. A total of 70 FTC teams from Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia went through six Qualifying Tournaments in December through February to determine which 32 would attend the Maryland Championship.

FIRST inspires K-12 students to become technology and engineering innovators of tomorrow. The FTC program gives teams of up to 10 middle or high-school students a hands-on experience designing, building, programming and driving robots. The program also fosters a culture of "Gracious Professionalism™" that encourages teamwork and cooperation as much as competition. The FTC program is sponsored nationwide by Rockwell Collins and PTC, and in Maryland by General Dynamics, Bechtel, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, BAE Systems and STEMaction, Inc.

Ellicott City's Some Disassembly Required also won the Connect Award which is presented to the team that judges' feel most connected with their local community and the engineering community. Another team from the same Scout Troop, Accidents Waiting to Happen, was also a finalist for this award.

A team from St. Peter the Rock Home School in Annapolis, Team 4081 The Droids, won the Promote Award given to the team that is most successful in creating a compelling message for the public designed to change our culture and celebrate science, technology, engineering and math. Teams must present a thoughtful and high-quality video, which appeals to the general public.

The 2013 Chesapeake Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Baltimore Convention Center will be held on April 11-13. The Chesapeake Regional is Maryland's premier event for the FIRST Robotics Competition. More than 1,000 high school students on teams from Maryland and around the country compete for the right to go on to the FIRST Championship.