Moorestown Friends School will be hosting a FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying competition on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Robotics teams from 27 schools from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including three teams from Moorestown Friends, are scheduled to compete.
The MFS robotics program has grown steadily over the past three years and has conducted more than 600 hours of volunteer outreach in South Jersey and Philadelphia, specifically with inner-city schools. In addition to many awards won at regional competitions, the school has had teams earn berths at the FTC World Championships in 2008 and 2009.
FTC is designed for those who want to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments.
Students get to design, build and program robots, apply real-world math and science concepts, develop problem-solving, organizational and team-building skills, compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments, earn a place in the World Championship (held in St. Louis in April) and qualify for nearly $7 million in college scholarships.
The MFS robotics advisor is Physics Teacher Tim Clarke.