Published on Sunday, March 03 2013 16:44
A group of local middle and high school students has qualified to compete at a World Robotics Championship in St. Louis next month. "Tuxedo Pandas", a community-based team made up of kids from the Christiansburg/Blacksburg area, was chosen by judges at the state championship as winner of the Inspire Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Virginia State Championship.
This is one of the top honors in FIRST, and it recognizes a team that not only is a strong competitor on the field, but also sets an outstanding example through the conduct of its members in showing team spirit and “gracious professionalism” toward other teams.
The winner of the Inspire Award earns the right to compete at the FIRST world championship, to face teams from across the U.S. and more than 50 other nations.
The Tuxedo Pandas, in only their second year of competition with FIRST Tech Challenge, are sponsored by the New River Robotics Association, and were among 48 from across Virginia that competed in a daylong contest Saturday at Richmond's Arthur Ashe Center.
The contest, organized by FIRST Robotics, challenged student-designed-built-and-operated robots to fetch plastic rings and hang them on a rack, all the while being jostled by other robots.
Franky Marchand is coach of the team.