Nearly 50 High School Teams To Compete in New York Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Competition

Event to be held March 22-23 at MVP Arena

March 12, 2024

2024 New York Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Competition

Just shy of 50 teams of students from area high schools and around the world will compete at the 2024 New York Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Competition at MVP Arena March 22-23, 2024. Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hosted the first regional event in 2014 and has been a major sponsor ever since. 

In the FIRST® series of programs, the FIRST® Robotics Competition is the premier engineering challenge for high school students. Teams of students, working closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, had from the January kickoff until the competition to conceptualize, design, build, program, modify, and test a robot to participate in a competition that changes each year. This year’s challenge is Turn Up the Volume. In CrescendoSM presented by Haas, FIRST® robotics competition teams will use their STEM skills and creative power to turn up the volume as they design, build, and program their robots for action-packed game play. Rensselaer students from Engineering Ambassadors, the Robotics Club, and The Forge will assist with the event.

“The FIRST® Robotics Competition engages and inspires students to explore the power of science and technology,” said Paul Schoch, Rensselaer Emeritus Associate Professor and co-chair of the event planning committee. “The participants are creative, spirited, and fun!”

“Many RPI students remember fondly the camaraderie from their FIRST ® competitions and are eager to help guide the next generation of participants,” said John Wen, head of the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering department at Rensselaer. “FIRST® Robotics is a wonderful preparation of ‘Renaissance Engineers’ that encompasses mechanical construction, circuit design, software engineering, user interface, and human factors.”

This transformative event would not be possible without the support of a generous grant received through The Innovation Fund, a partnership between Albany County and MVP Health Care. The purpose of the fund is to improve the overall health and vitality of the community. The fund also promotes MVP Arena as a marquee asset to the community by supporting healthier, inclusive, and expanded opportunities. Major sponsors of this year’s competition include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, GlobalFoundries, GE, and National Grid, with additional support from NEXTera Energy, TEL, UAlbany Engineering, Edwards, and Wolfspeed.

The opening ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, March 22 and will feature efforts to attract mores area schools to start FIRST® Robotics Competition teams. The event will conclude at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, March 22 and will resume from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23. It is free and open to the public. 

Written By Katie Malatino
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