Farmington Schools to host FIRST Tech robotics competition

Thirty-six teams of middle school students from across Michigan will descend on Farmington High School on Saturday, December 7, for a FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Robotics Competition.

The event will be hosted by the Warner RoboVikings FIRST Robotics organization, in partnership with Farmington Public Schools and the Farmington-Farmington Hills Education Foundation.

Bionic Dragons Howell Qualifier
At the Howell qualifier in September, the Bionic Dragons 14351 won the Motivate Award, which honors teams that best exemplify team building, team spirit and enthusiasm for the FIRST Robotics mission, motivating others to embrace the culture of FIRST. The Award also recognizes teams that have made a strong effort to create public awareness of FIRST and robotics in their community. (Contributed)

This year’s FTC competition game is Skystone, a partnership with Star Wars FORCE for a Change, in which teams participate in robotics matches where they “work with droid allies to overcome obstacles that stand in their path to building a superstructure of the future”. Students present their season’s journey to a panel of guest judges including local leaders and representatives from Nissan Technical Center of North America, DTE Energy, Riveters Robotics Team 1481, and Paul Wolfert’s Moving Michigan Realty.

In addition to middle school robotics matches, this event will also feature a virtual reality demonstration sponsored by Total Sports of Farmington, photo opportunities with members of the 501 Star Wars Costuming Group.  During a FIRST Lego League Junior Expo, 30 elementary school robotics teams will show off their Inspire Model to judges from the Hackbots FRC Robotics team. Students will also participate in workshops lead by The Robot Garage and sponsored by the Bosch Foundation, California Pizza Kitchen, and Jersey Bagel.

Bionic Dragons and Berserkerbots
Bionic Dragons and Berserkerbots robotics team members toured Ilmor Engineering in Plymouth Township. (Contributed)

The competition’s Opening Ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m., with the qualification matches starting at 11 a.m. and alliance selections at 4:45 p.m. Elimination rounds will begin at 5 p.m., and the closing ceremonies are set for 6:30 p.m.

The RoboVikings Rumble FTC Qualifier, which is free to attend and open to the public, will be held in the school’s gymnasium, which is located on the east side of the school. Local food trucks will be onsite throughout the day.