FIRST Robotics returns to Escanaba

ESCANABA — Teams from across the state will travel to Escanaba to partake in the ultimate sport for the mind beginning Thursday, March 15, through Saturday, March 17. This year marks the fifth time Escanaba has hosted a FIRST Robotics competition, which started back in 2014. Competitive matches will be held in the gym at Escanaba High School throughout each day.

FIRST Robotics Competitions combine the excitement of a varsity sport with hands-on training in science and technology to help high school students discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be. Remote-controlled robots, piloted by students and cheered on by fans, go head-to-head in short games on the floor of a sports arena, battling it out to earn points during a two-minute round.

This year’s game is called FIRST POWER UP and features robots competing in a video game style setting to achieve various tasks.

Students on FIRST teams learn from and play with the “pros” — professional engineers who donate their time to work side-by-side with students to help design and build the sophisticated competition robots. This gives FIRST students an insider’s view of a career in science, engineering and technology not possible in a normal classroom setting. Plus, unlike other high school athletics, every student on a FIRST robotics team has a chance to turn “pro.”

Visit Escanaba partners with Escanaba schools, Michigan Works! and volunteers to showcase the area to hundreds of visitors that the competition will draw.

This event is significant as it supports many key industries including education, workforce development, economic development, and tourism. Local businesses also step in with backing and sponsorships for teams that participate at the event, as well.