FIRST Robotics varsity sport for mind

- The FIRST Finger Lakes Robotics Competition will be held at RIT's Gordon Field House March 27-29.

Penfield High School Robotics Team Mentor Larry Lewis and Penfield High School senior and team member Shayna Rudy discussed the event Monday on News 8 at Noon.

Lewis said FIRST Robotics incorporates science and engineering into a team competition.  First is an acronym, which means "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."  From a student standpoint, no prior experience is necessary to take part.  School teams form in January, at which time they are given a game and begin the process of building a robot for competition.

Rudy said her friends "dragged" her to preliminary meetings, but she quickly developed a passion for the learning process and competition.  Over 40 teams from New York State and the surrounding region will assemble for the three days of competition at RIT.  Winners will earn a trip to a national competition in St. Louis in April.  The Penfield FIRST Robotics team has already qualified for the St. Louis competition, but will also be competing at RIT.

Some have called FIRST Robotics a "varsity sport for the mind."  Just like varsity athletes, those who excel through FIRST Robotics are eligible for scholarship funds to help with the cost of college.  Millions of scholarship dollars are awarded each year.

The FIRST Finger Lakes Robotics Competition at RIT is free and open to the public.

For more information on FIRST Robotics, click here.

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