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FIRST Tech Challenge Scheduled
December 9, 2009

Almost 30 middle and high school teams will
solve real-world engineering problems through an action-packed robotics challenge as they compete in a first-ever qualifying tournament. Winners will advance to the Virginia FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Championship Tournament in February.

FTC is a mid-level robotics competition that offers the same traditional challenges of a FIRST Robotics competition, but is generally more affordable and accessible. It is being held on Saturday, Dec. 12th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Teams of up to 10 students, with their teachers and mentors, build a small, remote-controlled robot using a custom robotics platform created specifically for FIRST. During the season, teams document their progress and the process behind the creation and deployment of their robot. Teams compete for several awards in areas that include engineering, design excellence, competitive play and sportsmanship.

Many of the participants were first introduced to FIRST through the FIRST LEGO League, a program for students ages 9 to 14 using LEGO Mindstorms technology. Many other teams come from schools with active FIRST Robotics Competition teams, who use the FTC as a “junior varsity” preparation for the big robot competition.

The tournament will be held in the Science Museum of Virginia’s Thalhimer Pavilion, 2500 West Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220. The “viewing times” for the public will be from the Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m. through the Awards Ceremony at 5 p.m. with a brief lunch break at noon. The public is invited to share the excitement of the competition during the museum’s regular hours, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free with Science Museum admission.

Dominion and Flexicell are event sponsors.

Visit for additional information. Three more qualifying events will be held around the State leading to the Championship Tournament.

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