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The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Regional Competition is scheduled to visit Salt Lake City for the fourth time. Students, parents and teachers from western states will visit the Maverik Center from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. March 21–23, and Governor Gary Herbert will visit the competition on March 22, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
“This competition unites the communities of engineering, science, math, technology and business in a way that allows everyone to learn and have fun,” Herbert said.
The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students to build, design, create and program robots to perform a specific gaming task.
With the help of professional scientists and engineers, students compete with their own robot, earn a chance to enter the world robotics championship and qualify for over $8 million in college scholarships.
“This competition promotes the development of Utah’s workforce of the future that is needed to support our technology industries,” said Marshall Wright, director of business development for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Just about all of the kids end up going into engineering and science, and get into great schools.”
The competition is known as the “Superbowl of Smarts” and has more than 2,500 sponsors. It allows young minds to work with leading-edge technology and showcase their abilities.
This year, 24 of the 44 teams will represent Utah. Other teams will be from California, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Hawaii and Texas.
According to Wright, last year, the regional robotics competition also brought in more than $1 million in economic revenue to Utah during the three-day competition.