MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- MTSU's Alumni Memorial Gym was a buzz of activity Saturday, Feb. 8, as high school and middle school students brought their creative A games to the second TNFIRST First Tech Challenge.
Teams came in matching T-shirts and outfits. Some were combined boys and girls teams. There were all-girl and all-boy teams. One team even brought its saluting, red-eyed mascot -- a knight in shining armor.
Nearly 30 teams from across Tennessee competed in the robotics event, where seventh- through 12th-graders design, build, program and operate robots in head-to-head competition. The event was hosted by the MTSU Department of Engineering Technology.
By the end, the Tennessee Robotics Club in Murfreesboro earned the Inspire Award and will advance to the world championships in Houston, Texas, in late April.
This year's competition theme was SKYSTONE presented by Qualcomm.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor, entrepreneur and advocate for science and technology. The nonprofit is a leader in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, engagement programs for students worldwide.
TNFIRST is focused on connecting K-12 students to the world of FIRST robotics and events.
Including engineering technology, one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments, MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.