FIRST robotics team gears up for new challenge

NORWICH – Having narrowly missed advancing at the regional competition last year, the Chenango County FIRST Robotics Team is back at the drawing board, this time with a new challenge and a new robot to build.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics challenge officially got underway last week, luring 28 high school students from the Norwich, Sherburne-Earlville, and Unadilla Valley school districts to put their engineering skills to test. Team 145 has only six weeks to develop a functioning robot that meets specific challenges; and with one week down already, the pressure is on.

“Our team has done well in previous years, and this year’s challenge is similar to what we did last year,” said Norwich High School senior and team co-captain Abby Ryan. “I think this year’s competition will be pretty evenly matched. We do a lot of strategizing beforehand, so I think we’re going to do well.”

The national FIRST Robotics program aims to inspire young people to be leaders and innovators in the fields of science and technology by engaging them in challenges that build skills through a mentor-based program that promotes self-confidence, team communication and leadership. Each year, the Chenango County FIRST Robotics Team, comprised of students grades 9-12, work together to design and build a functioning robot that can complete a series of tasks assigned by the international FIRST Robotics organization.

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