Public Invited to Gulf Coast League Robotics Championship

RocketKids Article

Pictured: Students supported by FUNducation work on their robot during a FIRST Tech Challenge competition. Photo courtesy of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

Robotics teams of middle- and high-school students from across the region will compete in the Gulf Coast League Robotics Championship on Saturday, February 3, at Braden River Middle School in Manatee County.  The competition is part of the FIRST Tech Challenge 2023-24 season, with teams competing to advance to the Florida state championships in March. At the Gulf Coast League regional tournament, 26 teams of young innovators will compete head-to-head in different challenges with robots they designed, built, and programmed themselves.  Participating teams will come from as far north as Palm Harbor in Pinellas County and south as Fort Myers in Lee County.  Students in the competition range from 12 to 18 years old. The public is invited to attend the tournament and experience the excitement of competitive robotics.  FUNducation, a Manatee County-based nonprofit that engages and inspires youth through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education, is helping to coordinate the competition.  FUNducation’s executive director, Neirda Thompson-Pemberton, encourages interested members of the community to come out to watch the event and cheer on the students during this thrilling competition. “We would love to see potential future participants, local business leaders, and really anyone who wants to support STEAM education in our community,” said Thompson-Pemberton.  “FIRST Tech Challenge teaches kids to think like engineers and work as a team, and the competition is just a blast to watch!” While the teams will be on site from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the full day, Thompson-Pemberton says that spectators can plan on seeing some of the best live action from 1:30 until 5 p.m., when the competition concludes.  The event is open to the public, and no registration is required to watch.  Braden River Middle School is located at 6215 River Club Boulevard in Bradenton.  For more information, email funducation@outlook.com.

Pictured: Students supported by FUNducation work on their robot during a FIRST Tech Challenge competition. Photo courtesy of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.

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