Fri & Sat - 800 high school students compete with robots at FIRST Robotics - GCU
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Fri. & Sat. – 800 students compete in FIRST Robotics regional at GCU

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  • Grand Canyon University

Robotoics AZHP

On Friday and Saturday, Grand Canyon University Arena will play host to more than 800 high school students pitting their robots against each other at the FIRST® Robotics Competition Arizona West Regional – with all the showmanship of a major sporting event. Details are below. Let me know if you’re interested in covering this and I’ll help arrange parking right in front of the Arena.

GCU, a major sponsor of FIRST, was the natural venue choice for the competition, as the university has made a huge commitment to filling Arizona’s pipeline with STEM professionals while at the same time launching several major K-12 STEM initiatives.

Fri. & Sat. - 800 students compete in FIRST Robotics regional at GCU robotoics-AZHP-300x163Local High School Students Demonstrate Engineering Excellence in FIRST® Stronghold SM Robotics Competition More than 800 robotics students vie for top honors at regional qualifying event


High school robotics teams from Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas will pit their robots against each other at the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Arizona West Regional, a high-energy event that rewards design excellence, sportsmanship and teamwork.

Billed as “the hardest fun ever,” more than 800 students comprising 43 teams will vie for honors at this year’s regional event in Arizona. Each team’s robot, built using a standard kit of parts, will compete in FIRST® Stronghold SM, where alliances of three robots team up in a Quest to breach their opponents’ fortifications, weaken their tower with boulders, and capture their tower.

Over a six-week time frame, students worked with professional mentors to design their robots for the Arizona Regional competition. More than 3,100 teams in the United States and 19 countries worldwide are competing at 2016 FIRST district, regional and state competitions. Top finishers are eligible to attend the FRC World Championship scheduled Apr. 28-30 in St. Louis. FIRST students also are eligible for more than $25 million in college scholarships.


Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9.

*The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Friday, April 8:

*   8:30 – 9 a.m.: Opening ceremonies

*   9:20 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Qualifying matches

*   Noon – 1 p.m.: Lunch

*   1 – 5 p.m.: Qualification matches

*   5 – 5:45 p.m.: Awards

*   6:30 – 8:30 p.m.: Team social

Saturday, April 9:

*   8:30 – 9 a.m. – Opening ceremonies

*   9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Qualifying matches

*   12 – 1 p.m. – Lunch

*   1:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Final matches among top contenders

*   5:45 p.m.: Awards ceremony


Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix


*   Students testing and tuning up their robots

*   Two-and-a-half-minute matches; six robots compete at a time on a playing field measuring 26 feet by 27 feet

*   More than 1,200 people including students, mentors, school mascots, family and friends cheering on their favorite teams


*   High school competitors from Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas

*   High school team mentors, teachers and families

*   Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of organizing sponsor, Microchip Technology, Inc., will be available Saturday, April 9, 2016

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $20 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for Grades 4-8; and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

About Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal analog and Flash-IP solutions, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at