Robot Rockfest

EVENT DATE: February 11, 2017 10:00am – 5:00pm

The public is invited to Essex High School on Saturday, Feb. 11, to see 32 robotics teams compete in the Vermont championship of the FIRST Tech Challenge. This free “robot rockfest” will test the engineering skills of 32 East Coast high school teams as they compete for a chance to advance to the super regional competition in March at Scranton University. Half of the teams are from Vermont.

“It promises to be an exciting, fun and fast-paced day,” said Essex High School robotics coach and physics teacher Joe Chase, who brought the competition to Essex this year. Previously it was held at UVM. “It’s also a great way to see just how difficult it is to successfully program the robots to make sure they finish the course and possibly win the challenge.”

FIRST Tech, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, has a goal of teaching students to “display unqualified kindness and respect for each other in the face of fierce competition,” according to entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen who founded FIRST in 1992.

Globally, more than 5,000 teams with more than 50,000 students from 80 countries and all 50 states are planning to participate this year in designing, building and programming Android-powered robots over a nine-month period.