Frisbee-flinging robots took over the Knoxville Convention Center last weekend, as thousands of high school students, mentors, and volunteers gathered for the third annual FIRST robotics Smoky Mountains regional competition.
Local teams Hardin Valley Academy, Oak Ridge High School, and Halls High School netted the championship title in a nail-biting finale at the regional event, qualifying them to compete in the national finals held April 24-27 in St. Louis. A team from Roane County High School, which won the Rookie All Star award, is also bound for nationals. The four high schools are among 14 teams sponsored by UT-Battelle, the managing contractor of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The FIRST robotics competition gives high school teams six weeks to design, build, and program a complex robot that can meet the intense demands of the year’s game. Throwing discs and climbing pyramids were among the challenges of the 2013 game, called Ultimate Ascent. [Read more…]