University News

High School Students From Around New England Showcase Design and Engineering Skills at First Robotics Competition "Infinite Recharge"

Published: March 06, 2020 | Categories: Alumni, All News, Engineering
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March 21-22, 2020

Students Learn Problem Solving and Teamwork in Addition to Designing and Building Robots by Working with Professional Mentors to participate at NE District, Western New England Event.

High school students from four states and 39 different cities representing all six New England states will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC) ( On March 21 and 22, at the Alumni Healthful Living Center at Western New England University in Springfield, MA, 40 teams of students and engineering and technical Mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, math, and technology. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

Student teams from local school districts from the six New England states will participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition NE District Event for an opportunity to win regional recognition for design excellence, sportsmanship, teamwork, and more and advance to the FIRST Championship competition. The public is encouraged to attend, catch the excitement of this intense competition, and cheer on their favorite teams. Admission is free.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, in their schools, and their communities. Celebrating its 30th season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates more than 4,000 teams and 100,000 students from 35 countries to compete in Regional Events and District Competitions. More than 1,000 students will compete at the Western New England District Event to earn points toward competing in the New England District Championship and ultimately a spot at one of the two World Championship events to be held in Houston, Texas April 22-25 and Detroit, Michigan April 29-May 2.

In 2020 the game, "INFINITE RECHARGESM," two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Each Alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their Shield Generator for maximum protection. To activate stages of the Shield Generator, droids manipulate their Control Panels after scoring a specific number of Power Cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their Rendezvous Point to get their Shield Generator operational in order to protect the city!

"FIRST isn't about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country," said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development and FIRST Founder, adding "There is no stimulus package that will have as much return as stimulating a bunch of kids to become the workforce of the future, the problem solvers, the creators of the future."

This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships from 200 scholarship providers.

Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering Mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a Kit of Parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

FIRST Robotics Competition and Western New England District Event Sponsors and Volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including United Technologies Corporation, Collins Aerospace, the United States Air Force, and Boston Scientific, to name a few. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional Mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and Volunteers.