by Emily Vanneman
Thirty four area high schools gathered at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy this past weekend for FIRST, for inspiration and recognition of science and technology, Robotics Springside Chestnut Hill District Competition.
Started in 1989 by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, FIRST was created to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills.
The SCH team, FIRST Team 1218, Vulcan Robotics, took second place in the competition and also won the Imagery Award. The Imagery Award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.
The competition focused on the students’ ability to compete using life-size robots to contend against one another. The students spend six months perfecting their robots. This year’s competition, “Aerial Assist,” consists of each team passing a 2-foot diameter ball to other alliance members and throwing it through a 10-foot-high goal. The more passes made, the more points earned.
Additionally, on March 1, the Vulcan Robotics took home the Chairman’s Award and qualified to move on to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, which will take place at Lehigh University from April 10 to April 13.
The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor given by the FIRST organization and recognizes a team’s overall effort to, “change the way young people regard science and technology and to inspire appreciation for the real-life rewards and career opportunities in these fields.”