UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Science-Fiction was no match for Science-Fact at the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Championship at MVCC Sunday, March 6th. Twenty-eight teams from across NYS, including two local teams, competed for their chance to move on to the World Championship. Eyewitness News was there with a first-person view of all the action.

“The genius that they have with their designs and everything, gracious professionalism, and working as a team to make them better. It’s a lot of beginner steps for engineering and design. It all comes to teamwork and how they mesh together.” – Edwin Young, Event Assistant/Field Inspector

Competition Fields

Teams were paired up, given a task, and worked cooperatively against other teams to win the highest score. Robots are designed to deliver such cubes and balls to designated areas, inside of a 12’x12’ playing field. They were required to operate using only pre-programmed instructions and sensor inputs. Teams who delivered the most objects earned the most points.

Team ‘Nerds of a Feather’, from Clinton (seen above), were awarded 1st Place for the ‘Motivate Award’ and 3rd Place for the ‘Promote Award’ for their efforts in celebrating the FIRST Challenge culture and a creative promotional video they made for the event. They were also recognized for their outstanding display of school and community service including running a summer camp and their overall enthusiasm, and spirit.

Sunday’s event was state-level. The overall winners, team ‘Enderbots’ from Corning, NY, and team ‘RoBovines’ from Ballston Spa, NY are moving on to the ‘World Championship’ taking place in Houston, Texas April 20th – 23rd. Locally, the students are eligible for scholarships and other opportunities to continue on with robotics or other science & technology-related degrees at MVCC, SUNY Clarkson, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

“These programs are essential for creating scientists and innovators. This generation of scientists and innovators and the next are truly the key to saving the world and we must do all we can to celebrate these young minds and hearts.” – Tina Betz

You can learn more by visiting FIRST or you can watch the MVCC Excelsior FTC Youtube page here.

Other Notable Teams/Robots:

Team ‘Geared Up’, from Oriskany Falls, was also recognized for their efforts in the CNY/Mohawk Valley area with 2nd Place for the ‘Connect Award’ for connecting with local science, tech, engineering, and math groups in the community.

Team ‘Electric Mayhem Green‘ took 1st Place in the ‘Design Award’ and also showcased a robotic fishbowl that uses sensors to track a live goldfish to move around its environment.

Team ‘Botman‘, from Albany was awarded 1st Place for the ‘Think Award’, given to the team that best reflected their design and engineering journey with their portfolio.

Team ‘Mechanical Meltdown’, from Watkins Glen was awarded 2nd Place for the ‘Think Award’, given to the team that best reflected their design and engineering journey with their portfolio.

Team ‘Beta‘ from Plattsburgh, NY, was awarded 1st Place for the ‘Innovate Award’ for ingenuity, inventiveness, and the most creative design solution. They say their blue & orange “beta fish” suits are based on their team name.