More than 150 teens will task their robots in competition Saturday for the B.C. FIRST Tech Challenge Championship. Twenty teams from British Columbia, Alberta and Washington state designed, built and programmed robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams in this season’s game, Relic Recovery. Teams have created robots that drive on and off balancing stones, score cubes to create a pattern, and place the golden relic in an off-field scoring zone.
“These kids have gotten involved with a FIRST team for different reasons. Maybe it was to socialize or maybe it was because they already had an interest in STEM,” said Christine Nicholls, FIRST Tech Challenge affiliate partner for B.C. “Whatever the reason, in addition to the robot building and programming skills, they are learning skills like teamwork and collaboration that will help them get jobs in the future.”
Local schools competing include St. Michaels University School, Oak Bay High, Belmont Secondary School, Royal Bay Secondary School, St. Margaret’s School, Edward Milne Community School and the Pacific School of Inquiry and Innovation. One team will earn a spot to compete at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in Houston, Texas from April 18 to 21.
Opening ceremonies are Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. The best time to watch robot games is between 1:30 and 4 p.m. in the St. Michaels University School Gym, at 3400 Richmond Ave. The public is welcome and admission is free.