FIRST Robotics competition comes to Kettering University - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

FIRST Robotics competition comes to Kettering University

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(03/08/14) - Saturday afternoon, Kettering University hosted a FIRST Robotics District Tournament.

"We call it a varsity sport for the mind," says Lynn McClymont, a FIRST Robotics volunteer and mother of a Bullock Creek High School team member.

Dozens of area schools formed robotics teams to compete. They need to design and build their own robot, but here's the catch - the game changes every year.

"Every year a new competition is developed that they have to make a robot in six weeks," McClymont said.

This year, the game is sort of a mix between soccer and basketball. The robots have to be able to move a ball up and down a field to score goals or be able to pick up the ball and throw it. Every team has a unique engineering solution.

Nick Osborn, Bullock Creek's team captain explained.

"So we had to figure out a way to pick up the ball, we use this, it comes down and it's like fork lifts," he said.
    
Robots also need to be able to catch the ball.
    
"These two side wings move out and extend our perimeter, it gives us a huge edge when it comes to catching," Osborn said.

That's important because teams are grouped into "alliances" of three to play the game against another group of three. So it's not just about engineering.

"It's all about team work and working together with everyone on your team to get the job done," Osborn said.

It's a lot of work, but they're having a lot of fun too.

"We do this for two days, about 10 hours two days and it's a party the whole time," McClymont said.

"All the drivers have the bow ties and suspenders, it kind of sets us apart and shows that we can be serious about things but we can be crazy and have fun and we enjoy what we do," Osborn said.

All of this is meant to get kids excited for 21st Century careers.

"Science and technology, the entire STEM curriculum is really the future of our work force," McCymont said.

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