BY BARRY WARNER
On Sunday, January 12, 2014, Suffern High School hosted the FIRST Tech Challenge Lower Hudson Valley Regional Qualifying Robotics Championship that was free and open to the public. Twenty-one teams comprised of students in grades seven to 12, applied math and engineering skills to build and program robots that competed head-to-head.
At this FIRST competition (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), students learned the value of teamwork and respected everyone’s ideas and contributions to the total effort. The remotely operated vehicles were designed to perform specific tasks during the ‘game challenge’ on a 12-foot square playing field.
For the two and a half minute contest the robot, which was controlled by two drivers and supervised by a coach, picked up numerous plastic blocks, placed them in baskets, raised a flag, rolled up a bridge and hooked itself on a high bar over the bridge! The top three qualifiers advanced to the upcoming Hudson Valley New York Regional Championship, which will take place at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y. on February 16, 2014. For further information www.USFIRST.org.