This week teams of high-school students will compete in a regional robotics competition for the first time in Idaho, supported by several Micron team members. Sponsored in part by the Micron Foundation, the inaugural Idaho Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is expected to draw more than 1,500 participants and spectators from March 31 - April 2 at Taco Bell Arena.
Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, teams participating in the FIRST competition must respond to a specific challenge with strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit. Teams of 20 or more students need to raise funds, design their team brand and hone their teamwork skills to build and program industrial-sized robots to perform a specific task within a game.
This year the contest is named FIRST STRONGHOLD, a medieval-themed competition where teams will combine strategy and robotics talent to breach the opponent’s tower. Given its focus on developing and applying STEM knowledge to solve specific challenges, the FIRST Robotics event aligns well with the Micron Foundation’s goal of creating and supporting STEM opportunities in our schools and communities. Along those lines, the Micron Foundation supports teams in many Micron site communities around the world.
“Robotics is clearly as much a source of passion for the students as it is for our team members,” said Dee Mooney, executive director, Micron Foundation. “We’ve proudly supported FIRST Robotics for several years through local team sponsorships, where our team members lead the way with their mentorship and commitment to students. Seeing this event come to Boise is a reflection of their commitment, and we are excited to be part of it."
Admission is free throughout the competition. Practice starts on March 31, with qualifying matches starting the following day. On April 2nd, qualifying matches will conclude and a winning team will be determined through head-to-head playoff matches culminating in a finals round. CEO Mark Durcan will formally kick off opening ceremonies on the final day while many other team members will be actively involved in the competition.
Can’t make the event or simply want to keep up with the latest developments? FIRST Robotics Idaho has several channels to stay informed: