In August, 70 students from schools across the state will compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a competition to build the most efficient robot.
Seven teams, consisting of 10 Class 9 students, will take part by building unique robots from standard kits of 1,200 parts provided to them. The robots will be designed to compete in ‘Hotshot’, a robotic basketball game.
“We want to encourage people who really love science,” said H.S. Zaveri, of NRB Bearings, one of the sponsors of FTC, on Tuesday.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is an American company that runs such competitions across North America to generate interest in engineering among students.
This is the first time FTC is being held in India and sponsors have short-listed underprivileged students from Aurangabad, Thane and Jalna. The students had to undergo tests to check for creativity, initiative and drive. The sponsors helped participating schools upgrade the school laboratories. The sponsors hope to fund the winners’ education, at least until they join college.
“This competition is taken very seriously by universities, at least in the US,” said John Stewart of Parametric Technology Corporation, the other sponsor. “Around 10 per cent students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology took part in it when they were at school.”