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Robotics competition returning to Escanaba

Daily Press file photo Teams compete in a past FIRST Robotics Competition in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — In March, a FIRST in Michigan district event will take place in Escanaba, challenging 40 robotics teams of high-school-aged participants from both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas to compete in the 2024 game — “Crescendo” — which was introduced by FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) at a kickoff event on Jan. 9.

FIRST — which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” — was founded in 1989 to prepare young people for the future, encouraging them to by building skills in teamwork, problem-solving, design, and all things STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as they build robots to complete tasks and then engage in competitions that provide an intensity comparable to that enjoyed at other sporting events.

Since the unveiling of Crescendo in early January, student-led teams aided by mentors have been working to construct and program robots to complete tasks within the game’s parameters. The RoboMos — FRC Team 3602 from Escanaba — have been meeting four days a week, sometimes more, to work on their project.

On March 7 to 9, the second week of competition brings to Escanaba a district event sponsored by Highline, a company bringing wi-fi to rural areas. Highline is a regular supporter of the RoboMos.

The RoboMos will participate alongside 39 other teams from within the FIRST in Michigan district at the event. The first day will be primarily for pit set-up and check-ins, said a spokesperson for the Robomos, while Friday and Saturday will be open for spectators.

Each team is required to compete in at least two district events if they seek to progress to the next level. The second district event for Team 3602 will be the following week at Lake Superior State University. If they score enough cumulative points between the two, they will progress to the state competition, which is to be held at Saginaw Valley State University the first week of April.

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