Robots were in action on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Penn State York when 36 teams of middle- and high-school students from across Pennsylvania, and one from New Jersey, took part in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) South Central PA Regional Qualifier, a daylong robotics competition. The event took place in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center at York campus.
View photos from the event.
Robots competed in the game First Relic Recovery. The winning alliance was comprised of three teams -- The Giant Diencephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team (8393), from Baden, Pennsylvania; The Substantial Monocephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team (6931), from Baden, Pennsylvania; and Tech Spark (10333), from York, Pennsylvania. This winning alliance set a world scoring record for the game on Saturday. Visit the website for the full results and list of competitors.
This is the eighth year Penn State York has hosted the competition, and the first year a team from York, TechSpark, advanced to the State Championship. In addition to being a part of the winning alliance, TechSpark won the Control Award, and another York team, GearHounds (9242) won the Motivate Award. GearHounds is coached by Amy Krtanjek, who is a member of the Penn State York engineering faculty.
The crowd of more than 500, including participants, volunteers, and spectators, watched as students and their robots played the game,First Relic Recovery. Robots had to perform a variety of tasks and earned points based on their successful completion.
Marshall F. Coyle, associate professor of engineering at Penn State York, is the volunteer coordinator for the event, and is responsible for filling the many positions necessary to make the competition possible. It was his idea to bring the competition to campus eight years ago. In 2016, the campus sponsored the championship round rather than the qualifier.
Penn State York students, faculty, staff, and members of the York community work as volunteers during the competition, filling a variety of roles from judges to field tech advisers, scorekeepers, software inspectors, and more.
Throughout the competition, teams are judged on their sportsmanship, performance of their robots, completion of tasks, ability to follow rules, and a variety of other criteria. Students in grades seven to 12 are eligible to take part in the competition.
Competition rankings after the elimination rounds can be found here. The State Championship is being held Saturday, Feb. 24 at Dallastown intermediate School in Dallastown, Pennsylvania.