Several local high schools are participating in the first round of a robot competition today (Thursday) at Butler County Community College. Executive Director of SWPA BotsIQ Michel (Michelle) Conklin:
“We have an exciting day planned. The teams start arriving around 8:00 and they take that time until 10:15 to get their bots ready to go. We have about 21 teams coming from northern Allegheny, Beaver, Butler areas and we have a couple of new teams on this year. We’re really excited; it’s going to be a great day.”
The 13th annual Southwest PA Bots IQ competition preliminary rounds begins around 10 a.m. Thursday and likely continue until about 4 p.m.
Over 1,000 students from over 60 schools will participate in this regional competition including teams from Butler Senior High School as well as Moniteau High School and Seneca Valley Senior High School. Representatives from local manufacturers serve as advisors to the teams and according to Conklin, this experience allows students to get more of an idea about the career opportunities available nearby.
“A big part of what we’re doing is workforce development. We’re trying to get kids interested in careers in manufacturing and STEM career pathways. Particularly high school students who often times spend their high school career trying to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their life but not really connecting what they’re learning in the classroom to what could potentially become the next step when they leave the high school.”
The public is welcome to attend this free event and cheer on your favorite bots to the finals which will be held at California University April 13th and 14th. Visit botsiqpa.org for more information.