YORK, Pa. — Robots were in action on Jan. 21. at Penn State York when 35 teams of middle- and high-school students took part in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) South Central Pennsylvania Regional Qualifier, a robotics competition. The winning alliance, comprised of three teams, included the Javengers from Enola, Pennsylvania; Cubix^3 from Hampstead, Maryland; and Sparks from Villanova, Pennsylvania.
The finalist alliance, or second-place winners, included Imagine It from Palmyra, Pennsylvania; Metal Works from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and GearHounds, from York, Pennsylvania.
This was the seventh time the campus has hosted an FTC event. In 2015 and 2016, the event was sponsored by the campus but took place at Dallastown Area Intermediate School because of building construction. This year the event took place in the newly renovated campus facility, the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center.
The crowd of more than 500, including participants, volunteers and spectators, watched as robots played the game Velocity Vortex. Robots had to perform a variety of tasks and earned points based on their successful completion.
Penn State York students, faculty, staff and members of the York community work as volunteers during the competition, filling a variety of roles from judges to field tech advisers, scorekeepers, software inspectors, and more.
Throughout the competition, teams are judged on their sportsmanship, performance of their robots, completion of tasks, ability to follow rules, and a variety of other criteria. Students in grades seven through 12 are eligible to take part in the competition.