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Tech Hosting Robotics Middle School Championships Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Hosting Robotics Middle School Championships Saturday

48 middle school teams will showcase their skills in engineering and robotics Saturday at Tennessee Tech.

The theme of this year’s competition is “Masterpiece,” which focuses on how robotics can generate improvements to different art-related issues. The “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” East Tennessee Champions will be crowned after the all-day event. Tournament Director Kristine Craven said it is a great chance for young students to exhibit their passion for STEM concepts.

“We consider our Engineering College to be the flagship of the university,” Craven said. “So, getting students interested in coding, working on computers, and generally building and solving problems is a great recruiter. It’s really exciting for students to see what a college campus looks like.”

Craven said this is the 24th year that Tech has hosted the event.

Saturday’s opening ceremony takes place at 9:00am. Then, there will be three robot competitions and six judging periods throughout the day before a closing ceremony where the champion is crowned.

“We are aware that we have a number of students who have come through the university that their first experience was at a FIRST LEGO tournament years ago,” Craven said. “So, it’s doing great wonders for getting more people into STEM.”

Craven said the kids competed in qualifying competitions in early December, seven of which were hosted at Tech. She said the competition started in 1999, and Tech got involved as quickly as they could when they heard about it.

“It’s a great way to get introduced to STEM topics as well as learn about robotics,” Craven said. “It’s just really exciting, and they have a lot of fun.”

The 48 teams will be made up of some 400 middle-schoolers.


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