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First Tech Challenge Taking Place In Springdale

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Springdale Robotics qualifying tournament is taking place today known as “First Tech Challenge”. It has brought ou...

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM) -- A Springdale Robotics qualifying tournament is taking place today known as "First Tech Challenge".

It has brought out students from all over the state to Springdale.

16 teams are coming to compete from all over the country in hopes of moving on to the state competition.

“I’ve been doing FIRST since I was in first or second grade so about 11 years now. My brothers were into it and I was just kinda like the tag along child that had to go with my mom everywhere and then I was like ‘oh this actually seems kinda fun’ and ever since then I’ve just been doing it.” said student Summer Garner.

Summer Garner is a senior at the Don Tyson School of Innovation, plans on attending the University of Arkansas next year and says the first tech challenge program has prepared her in more ways than one.

“My major I’m going to study is biomedical engineering and I know that there’s a lot of math that’s involved in that and I also have to take some robotics classes so doing this will help me already have an edge up on that.” said Garner
FIRST Tech Challenge has students in grades 7-12 and are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head to head challenge.
Garner wants everyone to know its more than just building robots.
“It’s a different experience and it’s a program where you can learn skills for life. Skills you need in life for like everything. Not just how to build a robot but you also learn how to budget and pay bills and how to market yourself as a team and get some valuable skills that employers want for the future,” she said.
Richard Cassady, the First Tech Challenge Program Director, says every year there is a different game the students have to compete in with their robots.
“This years game involves reposition a plastic plate and then stacking blocks on top of that plate.” said Cassady.
Garner says she encourages anyone to get out and try first because it impacts such a wide range of people.
“The people I get to meet. When you go to competition and get to travel all over the world if you make it to that level and just meeting different people and experiencing this.” said Garner.