Participating teams have been working intensely since Jan. 3 to design, build, program, and test robots to play this year's FRC game, Recycle Rush.
Culminating an intense month of qualifying events in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will host 60 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams in the final district event of the New England FIRST (NEFIRST) season.
The New England District Championship will take place to determine the NEFIRST champions and the 35 teams that will represent New England at the FRC Championship in St. Louis at the end of April. This is the second year that the New England District Championship has taken place in Massachusetts and the first year that the event will be held at WPI.
In this recycling-themed game played by two alliances of three robots each, robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme, all game pieces are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen—who attended WPI and is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur—to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, N.H., the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization designs programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
The six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) are now united as NEFIRST to support events for high school–level FRC teams.
April 8 –11, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Harrington Auditorium and the Sports and Recreation Center,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.
"The FIRST Robotics Competition not only exposes kids to robotics and engineering, but it inspires them to learn about a variety of careers in STEM fields through hands-on robotics," said Colleen Shaver, assistant director of the WPI Robotics Resource Center. "By participating in this prestigious international competition, high school students build their confidence and expand their horizons through a very real engineering experience."
Free and open to the public
Teams and spectators may park on streets surrounding WPI and in approved WPI parking lots, including the Park Avenue garage. Primary access into the garage will be from Salisbury Street.