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Florissant Valley to Host FIRST® Robotic Events

November 20, 2014

First Tech ChallengeSt. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is sponsoring two major robotics events the weekend of Dec. 6-7.

Activities will run 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. both days. The competitions will be in the gymnasium on campus, 3400 Pershall Road. FIRST road signs will direct visitors to parking. All FIRST events are free and open to the public.

The Cascade Effects SM qualifiers for FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) teams in Missouri will take place Dec. 6. Thirty-six teams of students in grades 7-12 will use a combination of motors, controllers, wireless communications, metal gears and sensors, including infrared tracking and magnet seeking, to program their robots to operate in both autonomous and driver-controlled modes on a specially designed field.

The object of the 2014-15 game is to score more points than an opponent by placing balls into rolling goals and then moving goals into scoring areas. Points can also be awarded when balls are shot into a center goal. The teams are competing for a chance to advance to the Missouri FTC Championship at Missouri University of Science and Technology on March 7.

The culmination of the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) World Class SM season for Eastern Missouri teams is slated for Dec. 7.

More than 240 teams competed in the 10 qualifying events offered in November. The Eastern Missouri FLL Championship brings together the top 40 teams from those events. Students in grades 4-8 work together on a team of up to 10 youngsters, with two adult coaches to research and present their original tools and/or tactics that enrich the current landscape of learning.

Teams will also build, test and program an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a series of wisdom-gathering missions that include: pushing a lever to open a door to learning, moving an idea outside of the box, loading a model with knowledge and skill loops, and more. The cornerstones of the experience are the FLL core values, which emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning and community involvement.

STLCC has partnered with FIRST for the past 12 years.

“We look forward to hosting these events each year,” said Steve Ehlen, Engineering Technology Center supervisor at Florissant Valley. “The work is amazing and really inspiring to those of us who teach science, technology, engineering and math at STLCC.”