Robotics competition gets underway at RIT

Robots featured in this week's FIRST Competition

Henrietta, N.Y. - For the next few days, high schoolers and robots will be taking over RIT.

Thursday, the school hosted the first night of the 2016 Finger Lakes FIRST Robotics Competition. This night comprised of practice rounds. In the coming days, the robots will be the centerpiece of a "Storm the Castle" tournament, where players will have to defend their "castle keeps" (Complete with drawbridges and barriers).

"We worked an entire year to get to this point," said Glen Pearson, regional director of FIRST.

Pearson used to work at Kodak, and started working with FIRST after he retired. He said the biggest benefit for him is seeing students learn about science - and enjoy it.

"The great thing to see is kids light up," said Pearson. "The whole reason FIRST is doing this is because they want kids to get excited about STEM - Science, technology, engineering and math. They know they get excited by sports, they know they get excited by entertainment, and yet there aren't that many jobs available to them there. There are a lot of jobs, particularly in our areawith a STEM background, you can earn a very good living and be successful."

Qualification matches will be held Friday and Saturday, and final rounds will be held Saturday.

You can catch all of the action this weekend at RIT's Gordon Field House.

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