2014 marked the second year for the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering to host the Kansas City Qualifier for the FIRST Tech Challenge.
This year, over 250 students from 25 teams participated in the qualifier, despite inclement weather and a delayed start. Of the 25 teams from Missouri, Kansas, Indiana and Arkansas, four will now move on to the Missouri State Championships, held March 1st in Rolla, MO.
The four teams advancing are:
Café Bot, an independent team from Webster Groves, MO
Astromechs, a community team from Kansas City, MO
S.W.A.T., Smithville High School from Smithville, MO
The Red Hot Techie Peppers, LEARN Science and Math Club from Kansas City, MO
Faculty, staff and students from the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering worked with the KC STEM Alliance to organize this year’s qualifier.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is a competition designed for students in middle and high school to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots.
Benjamin Franklin wrote “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” He would be proud of the six UMKC students from our engineering honor society Eta Kappa Nu and the UMKC Robotics Team. On January 25, 2013 they travelled to Osage Trails Middle School in the Fort Osage School District in Independence, MO to teach electricity and circuits and demonstrate a robot. Starting at 7:15 a.m. and finishing at 2:30 p.m., the students along with their advisor, Debby Dilks, taught six class periods. They demonstrated sound traveling through laser light beams, static electricity, robot programming and provided hands-on experience using snap circuit kits. Over 375 students participated though out the day. The UMKC students – Kelsey Knoche, Matt Mohler, Ariel Muthyala, Eddie Pogosov, Victor Skulavik, Sarah Withee – left Osage Trails knowing old Ben was right.