First Relic Recovery is the name of the game when 36 teams of middle and high school students from across Pennsylvania participate in the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) South Central PA Regional Qualifier, robotics competition, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at Penn State York. The competition takes place in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center on campus, and is free and open to the public. More than 500 attendees, including competitors and spectators, are expected to attend.
Opening ceremonies are at 10:45 a.m., followed by competitions throughout the day. Prior to the ceremony, teams will have an opportunity to get organized, register their robots, and prepare for competition. This is the eighth time the campus has hosted an FTC event.
Nine teams from the local area, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Red Lion and York, are a part of the competition. They are: Scibot1and Scibot 2, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Blue Streaks, Cougars, and Metal Works from Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Technion from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; Jayborgs from Red Lion, Pennsylvania; and GearHounds and TechSpark from York, Pennsylvania. See the complete list of participants and those on the waiting list.
First Relic Recovery is the game teams will play at the competition. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring Glyphs into the Cryptoboxes and completing rows, columns, and cipher; transferring Relics to the Recovery Zone; retrieving Jewels; parking on the Balancing Stones; and navigating to specific parts of the Playing Field.
Marshall F. Coyle, associate professor of engineering at Penn State York, is the volunteer coordinator for the event, and is responsible for filling the many positions necessary to make the competition possible. It was his idea to bring the competition to campus eight years ago. In 2016, the campus sponsored the championship round rather than the qualifier.
Penn State York students, faculty, staff and business members from 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.
The acronym FIRST means For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and the organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an accomplished inventor, who wanted to inspire young people to appreciate science and technology.
Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships
According to Thomas Zawislak, FIRST FTC affiliate partner, team members are part of an alliance trying to perform tasks on the field with their robots. The event emphasizes gracious professionalism; winning is nice but the design process and participant attitude are the important goals. Teams assist each other and members develop friendships and camaraderie 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. Following a sports model, teams of middle and high school-aged students are challenged to design, build, and program a robot to play a floor game against other teams’ creations.
Schedule for the Day
7 a.m. Volunteers Arrive and Check-in
7:45 a.m. Teams Arrive and Check-in
Robot and Field Inspection Begin
8:20 a.m. Judge Interviews Begin
10:30 a.m. Drivers Meeting On Competition Field
10:45 a.m. Opening Ceremonies
11 a.m. Qualification Matches Begin
12:30 p.m. Lunch Break
1 p.m. Qualification Matches Resume
3:15 p.m. Start Semifinals
4:15 p.m. Start Finals
5 p.m. Awards and Closing Ceremonies
5:30 p.m. Event Complete