Rensselaer To Serve as a Sponsor of the New York Tech Valley Regional 2022 FIRST® Robotics Competition

Students are challenged to re-imagine the future of safe, high-speed travel

March 10, 2022


The New York Tech Valley Regional 2022 FIRST® Robotics Competition returns to an in-person event as hundreds of high school students will compete for a slot in the FIRST World Championship and more than $80 million in scholarship funding.

RAPID REACT is part of the 2022 FIRST season, FIRST® FORWARDSM presented by Qualcomm. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #9, FIRST® FORWARDSM challenges students to think about overcoming transportation challenges and re-imagine the future, and empowers them to develop the technological innovations that will drive our society forward.

In RAPID REACT, teams re-imagine the future of safe and high-speed transport, rushing to load critical cargo and propel the evolution of transportation forward. Robots begin on their respective tarmacs and are preloaded with cargo, and once “cleared for takeoff,” can deliver their payloads and collect additional cargo for delivery. Robots can receive assistance from human players at the terminal and can earn points for reaching various hanger rungs before the match is over.

The three-day New York Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Competition will be held March 14 through March 16 at the MVP arena in Albany.

The FIRST® Robotics Competition is the premier engineering challenge for high school students. Teams of students, working closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, with limited time and resources, must conceptualize, design, build, program, modify, and test a robot to participate in a competition.

“Rensselaer is committed to improving access to a STEM education, and fostering a love for STEM in our communities,” said Paul Schoch, director of the Rensselaer Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education and a member of the New York Tech Valley FIRST planning committee. “This competition is at the heart of engaging students and inspiring them to further explore the power of science and technology, and get them excited about changing the world through STEM initiatives.”

Founded by famed inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST is an international organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. In the annual FIRST® Robotics Competition, teams of high school students must build a robot in response to a specific challenge and perform tasks against a strong field of competitors. Teams are also challenged to design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and advance respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.

“While FIRST® has continued its mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators even during the pandemic by engaging them in sophisticated and exciting remote challenges, we are happy to be back to in-person events,” said Janice Martino, FIRST® Regional Director. “There is nothing quite like spending time with these exceptional students to inspire us all and remind us that our future is in good hands!”

The competition brings together student teams from across the Capital Region, New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Turkey, and Brazil. In its eighth year, the New York Tech Valley FIRST® Regional Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the MindTM, where imagination and innovation come together to combine with the rigors of science and technology.

The competition schedule for March 14-16 includes:

Monday, March 14: Robot inspections: Students calibrate controls and electronics for optimizing robot performance, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Practice matches will take place from noon to 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 15: Opening ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. with brief remarks from several sponsors. Qualifying matches will immediately follow through 5:45 p.m. Awards ceremony, 5:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, March 16: Opening ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m., with remarks from sponsors. Qualifying matches will immediately follow until 12:15 p.m. Final rounds will run from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Awards and closing ceremony will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

FIRST® Robotics Competition New York Tech Valley Regional is sponsored by:

Lead Co-Sponsors: ASML, GE, GlobalFoundries, KLA, National Grid, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Captains of Innovation: Applied Materials Foundation, AMD, Lam Research

Friends of the Future: Edwards Vacuum, nfrastructure, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions, the Pickett Family Foundation

Contributors: Accumetra, TEL Tokyo Electron, and Westerwood Global LLC.

For more information about the New York Tech Valley Regional, visit: 

Media is invited to attend. To RSVP and attend, please contact, Deanna Cohen, Director of Media Relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at (518) 276-8574 or

Written By SCER Staff
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