Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending a couple of hours of the two-day FIRST Robotics Competition at the ECAV Facility at RPI. Sponsored by Boeing and several other high tech firms, the competition featured teams from more than a dozen local high schools. Teams from Brazil, Canada, New York City, and New Jersey also competed. The team from Bethlehem High was a group of sophomores competing in their first major robotics competition.
The floor was laid out for the specific objectives of this year’s space-related competition, and judges and referees and technicians were there to ensure that everything went smoothly. The stands at the venue were filled with fans cheering on their respective teams.
As a supporter of STEM-related programs in the Bethlehem schools, I was blown away by the scope of the event and the skill of the participants.
I especially liked the fact that camaraderie and cooperation trumped competition in this event. The Bethlehem team would probably not have been able to complete without help from the Ballston Spa team, which provided space, advice, and assistance during the design and construction phases that preceded the actual competition.
For more information about the event, see: https://news.rpi.edu/content/2019/03/06/teams-compete-new-york-tech-valley-regional-2019-first%C2%AE-robotics-competition.