FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship Coming to Rose-Hulman in April

Wednesday, January 05, 2022
Image of First Robotics competition at Rose-Hulman.

Robots designed by teams of high school students will convene on campus this April to compete in head-to-head challenges to determine the FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship and other opportunities for the world finals.

Rose-Hulman will host FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship event April 14-16 at the college’s Sports and Recreation Center. The event will bring together students and mentors from 32 of Indiana’s top high school robotics teams in hopes of winning top state honors and qualifying for FIRST Robotics’ world finals.

The competition is expected to attract 300 to 400 high school students in grades 9-12 to Rose-Hulman’s campus. All activities will be free and are planned to be open to the public.

FIRST Robotics inspires future science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaders by engaging them in the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of students will use critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills to build a robot starting with a standard kit of parts and common set of rules. They will then compete in a themed head-to-head challenge that’s been referred to as the “ultimate Sport for the Mind.”

Visit this webpage to learn more about the FIRST Robotics Indiana state championship.

Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons says the FIRST Robotics program is an ideal partner with the institute’s STEM educational mission.

“FIRST Robotics is as close to real-world engineering as a high school student can get,” Coons said. “Our student body and alumni network are filled with people inspired to STEM fields through this exciting program. We’re looking forward to hosting young people, teachers and mentors committed to solving a challenging engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way.”

Details about this year’s competition challenge will be announced Saturday, January 8, by national FIRST Robotics officials.

Top teams from district competitions in Kokomo, Lafayette and Columbus will advance to compete in the Indiana championships at Rose-Hulman.

As many as 10 teams from the state finals may advance to FIRST Robotics’ World Finals.

“It will be wonderful to see all of the young students coming together to have fun while learning about robotics,” said Lawrence J. Giacoletto Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering Carlotta Berry, PhD, Rose-Hulman event organizer who specializes in teaching about robotics systems. She has been a judge at past FIRST Robotics Indiana events and was named Volunteer of the Year when Rose-Hulman hosted the organization’s Crossroads Regional in 2013 and 2014. “These students are the future leaders in this expanding field that reaches across all areas of STEM,” she said.

FIRST Robotics is an international not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen, who earned an honorary doctorate of engineering degree from Rose-Hulman in 2012. The program has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers.