Local Robotics Team Advances to FIRST World Championship in Houston

Rohming Robots - 2019 SC FTC Inspire Award Winner

Rohming Robots Repeats Inspire Award Win at SC FIRST® Tech Challenge Championship - February 23, 2019

The Rohming Robots of Charleston took the top judged award at the FIRST® Tech Challenge State Championship on February 23, 2019, at Gaffney High School. The Inspire Award was presented to the students of the 4-H project club Rohming Robots, team #8477, for the fourth year in a row, earning them advancement to the World Championship in Houston, Texas, on April 17-20. Also advancing are the Penguineers, team #11454 from Myrtle Beach, who took the top robot competition award of Winning Alliance Captain. The winning alliance also included Garnet Squadron, team #11444 from Columbia and the Green Villains, team #753 from Greenville.

As Inspire Award winner, Rohming Robots is recognized as being a strong ambassador for FIRST® programs and a role model for other teams. They are a top contender for many other judged awards and a gracious competitor. They inspire other teams and share their experiences, enthusiasm, and knowledge with other teams, sponsors, their community, and the Judges. Working as a unit, Rohming Robots has shown success in performing the task of designing and building a robot. In addition to winning the Inspire Award, Rohming Robots was also a Finalist Alliance Captain and chosen for the following awards:
1st place Promote award
3rd place Motivate award
2nd place Design award
2nd place Innovate award
2nd place Connect award
2nd place Think Award
Team Coach Linda Stewart received 3rd Place Compass Award
Team member Samantha Strutz was selected as a Dean’s List Finalist

Rohming Robots is a fifth year team from Charleston and is headed to Houston for the World Championship for the third year in a row. The team’s key sponsors this season are BASF Dispersions in N. Charleston, SME Chapter 430, and SPAWAR (NIWC). Additionally the team has received grants from Coastal Community Foundation’s Volvo Community Grant and from Tides Foundation’s Google Data Centers Grant Fund for projects to grow the two lower levels of FIRST®: FIRST® LEGO League Jr. and FIRST® LEGO League.So far, Rohming Robots has helped start six new FIRST® teams and sponsored and/or mentored five of those this season.

For a full listing of teams competing at the SC FIRST® Tech Challenge Championship, please visit: http://bit.ly/2019Champs-teams
For a final ranking of teams after qualifying matches, please visit: http://bit.ly/Qualification-Rankings
For a listing of all the awards presented to teams, please visit: http://bit.ly/2019SC-Awards

FIRST® Tech Challenge in South Carolina continued to experience a significant growth this season with the number of teams registered increasing by 16% partially due to rookie grants and a grant from Duke Energy. Also, many of the new teams formed for the previous season participated in competitions for the first time during Rover Ruckus. In total, South Carolina had thirty-five teams compete for the top twenty-four spots at the Championship compared to last season when only 20 teams attended the Championship. New this season for South Carolina teams was a League system of competition. Each of the four regional leagues competed in three league match meets between November and mid-January followed by two League Tournaments on February 2nd. These Tournaments, one held in N. Charleston and one in Easley, each advanced twelve teams to the SC Championship. New FIRST®Tech Challenge teams can be started now through a program called Jump Start. If you have an interest in starting a new team or want to help encourage youth in STEM through FIRST® Tech Challenge, please contact the FIRST® Tech Challenge state affiliate partner, William Pedersen, pedersen@scref.org.

South Carolina Robotics Education Foundation is the FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for the state. Operating as a 501(c)3 non-profit, SCREF works with schools, 4-H clubs, and community organizations across the state of South Carolina using robotics to encourage and teach students about STEM oriented careers and opportunities. SCREF hosted and organized the SC FIRST® Tech Challenge Championship at Gaffney High School.

FIRST® Tech Challenge is one of four different STEM Education Outreach Programs that are part of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit founded in 1989 by Dean Kaman, the inventor of the Segway standup scooter and many other unique inventions. FIRST® Tech Challenge is a world-wide program for grades 7-12 with over 7,010 teams serving approximately 70,100 students supported by over 16,000 volunteer mentors and coaches. Students who participate in FIRST® Tech Challenge are eligible for over $80 million in college scholarships provided by participating universities and sponsors. FIRST® “More Than Robots” type of student participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills.

The 2018-2019 season challenge, Rover Ruckus presented by Qualcomm, is an out-of-this-world space-themed competition to honor the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. More information and a game explanation video for Rover Ruckus can be found at https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season. FIRST® Tech Challenge teams are guided by adult coaches and mentors allowing students to develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. build and program their robots Android-based control system using a variety of Java programming tools. They have a wide variety of building materials available to them and they design the robot to complete competition scoring tasks along with an alliance partner. Some teams like Rohming Robots use 3-D modeling software to design their robot virtually before building it in order to reduce the number of design iterations. Additionally, teams raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards.