Students are learning problem solving with robotics, as they work toward the FIRST Tech Challenge competition prior to the statewide event in Delaware in February.

Wilmington students found out that in robotics, failures are as important as successes. “At the moment, we’re just trying to get our robot to work,” said Estelle Hegenbarth, a freshman at Wilmington Friends School.

She was calm, although with the second Delaware FTC robotics meet of the year starting in a few minutes, the rest of the team were frantically on their phones, trying to reach their programmer.

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Another team from Downington, Pennsylvania had a separate crisis.  “Something must have vibrated loose in the car,” said one of the students, wheeling the robot to the tool box.

The FIRST Tech Challenge is a robotics competition for students in grades 7-12, where they design, build, and operate robots.  The international K-12 non profit organization FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, was founded to inspire young people to pursue interests in science and technology. Teams must compete in at least two meets to qualify for the state tournament. After the state tournament, they can qualify for the regional, and possibly the world championship.

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