North County students compete in robotics contest


Members of the Jupiter High School Mars Robotics Team

MARS (Mega Awesome Robotic System) Team 1523 students from Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and William T. Dwyer High Schools, as well as private and home-schooled students, today and Saturday are participating in the at the FIRST Robotics Competition South Florida Regional at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, 650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach.

The event, from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public

The competition is scheduled to have 48 teams. Teams from 10 states and international teams from Brazil, Colombia, Netherlands and Turkey will be attending the event.

On average each team consists of 30 students (plus parent chaperones, teachers and mentors), so organizers expect to have at least 2,500 people attending each day during the three days that the competition lasts, plus the event is open and free to the public.

With the guidance of adult mentors, students brainstorm a robot design, then while using hands on experience team members learn electrical and mechanical engineering, construction, metal working, programming, prototyping, fundraising, community outreach, website design, multimedia, design a team “brand,” costume making, create team spirit, and hone teamwork skills.  It’s as close to real world business and engineering as a student can get.

Participating FIRST Robotics Competition students are eligible to apply for more than $50 million in college scholarships. Three out of every five Fortune 500 companies support the not-for-profit FIRST® organization.

Video on how the game is played and scored:

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