Thirty nine teams from six western states, Canada, and even China went head to head Friday at Boise State University as a part of the third regional competition for FIRST Robotics.
“The competition is to get as many cubes into a scale or a switch,” said participant Jeffrey Betzold.
Teams of students have six weeks to build a robot that can perform the tasks required for the 80’s video game themed competition using science, technology, engineering, and math skills.
"It’s a very competitive exciting environment,” said FIRST Regional Director Richard Anderson.
They are playing under some high stakes. Simply for participated in FIRST the students unlock access to more than 50 million dollars worth of scholarships.
“We’re all about helping kids, look towards the future. This is our future workforce coming down the pike,” said Anderson.
And while money for college is a huge plus, mostly the kids do it because it’s fun.
“I heard about FIRST and I just decided whoa these things are really big and they look cool so I want to do it,” said Betzold.
Through the collaboration and creativity, the students build self confidence and gain valuable skills to find jobs in fields that are sure to be in high demand in the future.
"Computer science is huge, mechanical engineering is huge. There is so many directions they could go from this,” said Anderson.
“I kinda wanna be a structural engineer but if I get offered a job or find an opening I’ll defiantly do robotics,” said Betzold.
The event will be taking place again on Saturday. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. The event is free to the public.