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SWOSU Receives Grant to Help with First Robotics Competition

November 20, 2009

Regional Robotics Competition
SWOSU students (from left) Daniel Houk, Chris Parton and Jarred Bechtel prepare for the first-ever First Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Robotics Competition being hosted by SWOSU on December 5 in Weatherford. SWOSU recently received a grant from the Oklahoma NASA Space Consortium to help with the event, the first-ever in Oklahoma.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Madeline Baugher, an instructor in the SWOSU Department of Entrepreneurship & Computer Systems, recently received a $4,183 grant from the Oklahoma NASA Space Consortium through the University of Oklahoma to fund, in part, the First Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Robotics Competition being hosted by SWOSU on December 5 in Weatherford.

The grant will allow SWOSU to provide the local sanctioned event fee in order to host the regional competition for high school teams from across the state.  This upcoming FTC event will be the first FTC-sanctioned event to be held in Oklahoma.

SWOSU FTC Robotics Competition Director Brad Fitzgerald said teams will build and program a robot to compete in the tournament.  The robots must be able to pick up balls and shoot them into goals to score points.

Founded in 1989, FIRST's (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) primary purpose is to encourage youth to become interested in the science and technology fields.  FIRST provides various novel programs to motivate youth to work towards educational degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.  These programs also attempt to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. Youth teams build robots to  solve particular problems and compete against themselves and other teams. 

The upcoming robotics event will be held on the SWOSU campus at the Wellness Center on Saturday, December 5. The public is invited to visit the tournament at 1 p.m.

For more information about the upcoming event, contact Fitzgerald at (580) 774-3161 or brad.fitzgerald@swosu.edu.

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