Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.
FIRST POWER UP, the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition game, includes two alliances of video game characters and their human operators who are trapped in an arcade game. Both alliances are working to defeat the boss in order to escape!
Each three-team alliance prepares to defeat the boss in three ways:
1. Control the Switches and the Scale. Robots collect Power Cubes and place them on Plates to control Switches or the Scale. When the Scale or their Switch is tipped in their favor, it is considered owned by that Alliance. Alliances work to have Ownership for as much time as possible.
2. Earn Power Ups. Robots deliver Power Cubes to their humans who then place them into the Vault earning the Alliance Power Ups. Alliances use Power Ups to gain a temporary advantage during the Match. There are three Power Ups available to teams: Force, Boost, and Levitate.
3. Climb the Scale. Robots Climb the Scale in order to be ready to Face The Boss.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self‐confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
Team T-Rx 145 has been part of FIRST since 1997. The Rx comes from our founding sponsor Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals as a play on the prescription symbol. The team includes students from four school districts, Norwich, Sherburne-Earlville, Unadilla Valley, and Gilbertsville-Mount Upton. Over the 19 years that our team has been in existence we have seen over one hundred unique students come through the program. Our team is student focused. We have students coming up with the designs and doing the majority of the work. Our mentors take a step back and operate in advisory roles instead of doing all of the work while the students watch.
When we’re describing FIRST to people that have never heard of it before and to new team members, we always tell them that it is the hardest fun you will ever have. FIRST requires a lot of time and dedication. It’s great training for the “real world” due to the extreme time constraints and problem solving. FIRST teams are comprised of people from all different backgrounds and interests. Our mentors come straight from their jobs to work with the team. Since our team is comprised of four different school districts, students have the opportunity to make friends with other students that they normally wouldn’t meet. FIRST is a great cooperative experience. It is the ultimate group project! The dynamics of the group just have to be seen to believe!
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