WPI To Host FIRST District Robotics Event

Nearly four dozen student teams will participate in tournament; event is free and open to the public
March 12, 2014

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FIRST District Tournament; FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created by Dean Kamen, who attended WPI and is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur.


About 2,000 high school students from 40 local First Robotics Competition teams


March 13 and 14; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily


Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Harrington Auditorium and Sports and Recreation Center, Worcester, Mass.


The WPI District event is an official FIRST & New England FIRST Tournament. It will feature teams from New England competing to earn points towards attending the New England FIRST Championship in April. New England has moved to a district system for the 2014 season and beyond, which brings more events closer to teams and reduces the cost by allowing them to participate in two district tournaments for the price of one regional event. All three WPI teams – Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science (FRC190), Burncoat High School (FRC1735), and Doherty High School (FRC1687) – will be competing at this event.

The theme of this year's district tournament is "Aerial Assist." The teams, composed of high school students and their technical mentors, have six weeks to build a robot to compete in the challenge, but the robots are then sealed and the teams cannot work on them again until their district tournaments. The challenge itself calls for teams to be able to score large 24-inch balls into high and low goals. Teams earn extra points each time they pass the ball to their alliance partner for an assist, or shoot it over the truss and have a partner catch the ball.

Teams will earn points based on their performance at this district event based on match wins, selection order, and awards. Top point-earning teams will advance to the NE FIRST Championship in Boston in April. From there, teams will earn their way to the international FIRST Championship held St. Louis in late April. FIRST hosts more than 90 regional and district tournaments throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Israel.

This marks the fifth year WPI will be hosting this event.


Free and open to the public


Teams and spectators may park on streets surrounding WPI and in approved WPI parking lots on Thursday and Friday, including the new Park Avenue garage. Primary access into the garage will be from Salisbury Street.