By Kalwinder Kaur
The 2012-2013 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) season has been officially launched with a series of live and online launch events featuring this year’s game, RING IT UP! by a Dean Kamen-established organization focused on encouraging youth to pursue their career in science and technology, ‘FIRST’(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
FIRST Tech Challenge is a renowned robotics program that has been established to promote project-based learning in students from grades 7 through 12. Based on a proven formula that fosters student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), FTC is the well-accepted and -accessed program being offered to school students. FIRST program highlights the importance of team-work in business, engineering and science categories.
Around 25,000 students will program their robots by integrating metal gears, motors, wireless communications, controllers, and sensors like infrared tracking (IR) and magnet seeking, for operation in autonomous as well as driver-controlled modes on a field having a center rack. The game requires placing plastic rings on to pegs placed on the center rack for scoring points. Teams will be challenged to recognize special “weighted” rings for attaining bonus points. The match RING IT UP! will carry on for 2 min and 30 sec. It will start with a 30-sec autonomous period with subsequent two-minute driver-controlled period. The end of 30 sec of the driver-controlled period marks the “end game.” Here, bonus points are provided for the teams that lift their Partner’s robot atop 24- in high.
The 2012-2013 FTC season will have 2,500 FIRST Tech Challenge 2,500 teams attending to compete in events in Russia, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Mexico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, with events in Spain and Germany this year. The RING IT UP! season Qualifying and Championship events will end with FIRST Championship, scheduled from April 24 to 27, 2013, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.