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Jordan High to Compete for First Time at Regional Robotics Competition

  • Post category:General News
  • Post last modified:March 6, 2017

All of CSD’s five traditional high schools – including, for the first time, Jordan High – will be fielding teams at the 2017 Regional FIRST Robotics Competition where they’ll compete against peers from seven states and Canada.

This is the Beetdiggers’ inaugural year, and while the rookie team is not as well-funded or experienced as its rivals, students are riding a wave of “first-timer’s” excitement. Also, the team got a jump start with $6,300 in seed funding from the Canyons Education Foundation. “In past years, some of our brightest students have had to compete for neighboring teams. Now they’ve returned to be a part of our rookie season,” says the team’s adviser Cameo Lutz.

In all, 48 teams will compete in the regional March 10-11 contest, which is sponsored by the University of Utah’s College of Engineering. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City (3200 S. Decker Lake Drive).

Taking cues from the Steampunk subculture, this year’s “FIRST Steamworks” competition calls for robots that are both futuristic and retro in design. Teams are in a race to launch balls (fuel cells) into a mock steam boiler with a goal of building enough fuel to operate a simulated steam-powered airship. The remote-controlled robots must also haul enough giant gears to the airships to operate the ships’ propellers.

Each round ends as human players, who are stationed atop the airships, turn cranks to engage the gear-driven propellers and lower ropes to hoist the robots aboard.

The two-day competition marks the culmination of a six-week design-build period where student teams engineer, program and test their bots. It’s an exercise in teamwork, which, as the “Steampunk” theme suggests, involves science, technology, engineering, art, and math (S.T.E.A.M.). The Steampunk aesthetic, a blend of science-fiction fantasy with the industrial, steam-powered 1800s, will add a special flavor to this year’s competition, said U. mechanical engineering associate professor Mark Minor in a press statement. “Many teams will dress up in period costumes and give their robots a cool design.”

Special award recipients and winners of the regional competition will advance to the FIRST National Championship held April 19-22 in Houston and April 26-29 in St. Lois. Following is a schedule of events. For more information, visit:

Opening ceremonies, Friday and Saturday, 8:30-9 a.m.
Qualification matches: Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5:45 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
Final rounds: Saturday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Awards ceremonies: Friday, 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. and Saturday, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Pits and machine shop: Opens Friday and Saturday at 8 a.m.

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