High School Students Test Their Skills In Cal U Robot Competition

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s a competition like no other, robots going head-to-head in a test of skill and engineering.

It’s all designed by students.

The qualifying matches get underway Friday at California University of Pennsylvania.

Students were fired up Thursday.

A convocation center full of robots, built by high school students – 1,200 of them on 54 teams, from five states, in a competition they love.

“Our robot is named Ada, who was one of the first woman programmers,” said Sophia Lee.

Lee’s team is from the CMU Field Robotics Center. It’s an all female team and they want to be role models.

“We would like to inspire women to get into science and technology fields,” said Lee.

It’s called First Robotics. Teams of students build robots that compete in a playing field.

Robots score points by stacking items on platforms.

“They learn to be very flexible in their thinking,” said Robert Pollack of Chicago. “It really, I think it prepares them well for life because things don’t stay the same when you grow up. Things are constantly changing. These kids can adapt to just about anything.”

To make it fair, each team gets the same parts to build their robot. Working with adult gurus, each team had six weeks to build their robot for this tournament.

The students love it.

“Basically, kids get to know the field and build something with their own hands,” said one student.

The event, brought by Cal U is part of a renewed focus on STEM classes – science, technology, engineering and math, at high schools nationwide.

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