NORFOLK, Va. — More than 200 of the best and brightest middle and high school students from DC, Maryland and Virginia gathered at Norfolk State University Sunday to "test their teamwork and ingenuity" at the FIRST Tech Challenge Norfolk VA Qualifier Event.
According to the organizers, "this year’s challenge, POWERPLAY, uses a playing field where teams strategize, form alliances, and demonstrate gracious professionalism while moving cones and assembling them onto stationary and spring-mounted junctions."
"So FTC is actually this great robotics competition where kids from around the country, even sometimes the world, we all get together, we learn about robotics and compete in both robotics and actually even stuff like outreach," one young competitor told us.
"So our goal this year is to grab cones and place them on top of poles that are anywhere from 8 inches to 20 inches high," he said.
Another team member told us: "I've loved engineering, since I was a little kid, it's always my dream to be an engineer. And I found out about this robotics club and it just seemed like a lot of fun. And it has been so far."
As the competition heated up, the play-by-play announcer said: "With eight seconds left, can you get it done?"
"I think it's like really great to be around all these people and this is also just a great community. And first everybody loves helping each other out," another competitor said.
"With all the you know, you can just even just reach out to other teams that you even compete against and will help you."
"However, as much important robotics is on the field, it's equally as important off the field. And that, I think, is true for all of us here, not just our team."
The winners of the competition earn a chance to compete at the FIRST Chesapeake FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Sponsored by Capital One in Severn, MD on February 11th.