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Robotics students vie for top honors at FIRST® regional competition

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  • Katy Springer/Grand Canyon University

FIRST Robotics Regional

WHAT: High school robotics teams from Arizona, across the southwest and one team from Mexico 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 600 students comprising 34 teams will vie for honors at this year’s Arizona regional event at the Arena at Grand Canyon University, the event’s in-kind sponsor.

Robotics students vie for top honors at FIRST® regional competition FIRSTRoboticsRegionalHPEach team’s robot, built using a standard kit of parts, will compete in Recycle RushSM, a game that awards points to robots for stacking totes, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, which represent litter.

Over a six-week timeframe, students worked with professional mentors to design their robots for the Arizona Regional competition. More than 3,000 teams in the United States and 19 countries worldwide are competing at 2015 FIRST district, regional and state competitions. Top finishers are eligible to attend the FRC World Championship, scheduled Apr. 22-25 in St. Louis. FIRST students also are eligible for more than $20 million in college scholarships.

WHEN: Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

Friday, April 3:

  • 8:30 to 9 a.m. – Opening ceremonies
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Qualifying matches

Saturday, April 4:

  • 8:30 to 9 a.m. – Opening ceremonies
  • 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Qualifying matches
  • 12 to 1 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Final matches among top contenders
  • 5:45 p.m.: Awards ceremony
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Team social

WHERE: Grand Canyon University Arena, 3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoeni


  • 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
  • Stinky, the robot featured in the movie “Spare Parts” about the Carl Hayden High School robotics team, will be on display Friday afternoon


  • High school competitors from Arizona, Mexico, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Texas
  • High school team mentors, teachers and families
  • Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of Organizing Sponsor, Microchip Technology Inc.

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 Inc.

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

About Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona’s premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  The University’s curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit
For more information, please contact Katy Springer, Public Relations Account Supervisor at Cramer-Krasselt at 602.417.0652.