FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) season starts in September and ends in March. Teams can earn an invitation to the State Championship by achieving points and/or winning awards at Meets and Qualifiers that are held throughout the year. High school robotics teams from Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties that have not already advanced to the State Tournament through a Meet or Qualifier are invited to compete in the Northwest NJ League Tournament. Teams that advance can compete at the State Championship which is held on February 26th at West-Windsor-Plainsboro High School in Plainsboro Township, NJ.
Warren Tech’s robotics Team #5339, known as the W.A.L.K.E.R.S (Wireless Alternative Lifeforms Keen on Exploration in Robotics Systems) has made it to the state finals in each of the last two years. Students on Team #5339 are enrolled within the Engineering program at Warren County Technical School.
“It’s cool to see how teams are approaching this year’s challenge. I feel our team has worked well together and I can’t wait to compete in our own gym!” said Warren Tech Junior Engineering Student Evan Bounpaseuth.
The W.A.L.K.E.R.S are looking to build off of the momentum they established earlier this year when they walked away from a meet at Mount Olive High School on November 20th as part of the winning alliance and a meet at Wayne Hills High School on January 8th as part of the semifinalist alliance.
“This tournament at WCTS is similar to an NFL wildcard game that places engineering, science and technology into a challenging but fun competition,” said Engineering Instructor and Team #5339 Coach Sean McGeough.
FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!” Students develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills and practice engineering principles while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is programmed using software language, Java. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards.