Several local high schools are participating in the first round of a gladiator-style robot competition Thursday at Butler County Community College.
The 12th annual Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ preliminary rounds will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday at BC3 and continue next weekend at Westmoreland County Community College. The competition culminates with finals at California University of Pennsylvania’s Convocation Center on April 29-29. All events are free and open to the public.
Nearly 1,200 students from over 60 schools across southwestern Pennsylvania and as far east as Somerset spend the last few months building robots and will compete, including teams from Butler Intermediate and Senior High schools, Moniteau High School and Seneca Valley Senior High School. Representatives from Butler County manufacturers, including Schmidt Technologies, Penn United Technologies, Mecco Marking and Traceability and Fruehauf Manufacturing, serve as advisers to the teams.
Working with a robotics curriculum based on the National Curriculum Standards and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) mechanical engineering methodology, students are taught to design, build and battle robots in a gladiator-style competition. The competition draws on students’ knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects, and even public speaking.
Butler Radio Network photos from this year’s BotsIQ competition.