On September 9, 2017, school districts from all over the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) came together as a united community at Vanguard Academy. Teachers, students and school administration all came to see what the new FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) game was for this coming season. FLL and FTC is two of US FIRST yearly competitions that inspire students in elementary, middle and high school to become engineers and leaders of tomorrow through their unique style of science, technology, engineering and mathematic programs.
More than 200 students from across the valley came by to learn about the new FLL game in the morning. The new game features the “HYDRODYNAMIC” game which is based on a 4’x8′ playing field, using an EV3 robot. Game elements are purchased to complete various assigned tasks. FLL teams must research the game and do a presentation … similar to a science fair which is later judge in conjunction with their teams robot performance at the regional qualifier.
More than 700 students from across the valley come to learn about the new FTC gamin in the afternoon. The new game features the “RELIC Recovery” game which is based on a 12’x12′ playing field were teams must construct a 18″x18″ aluminum framed robot to complete the game requirements in a competitive format. In the FTC program, teams are not required to research or create a presentation, but they are expected and required to complete an “engineering notebook”. This notebook details the process from start to finish on how their robot came to compete. FTC teams are expected to do community outreach, mentoring other teams, create a business plan, fundraising activities and have a lot of team pride.
The City of Pharr Mayor, Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez, a long time supporter of FIRST-RGV was in attendance with his son Saturday. Mayor Hernandez was seen live streaming this amazing event on Facebook LIVE and was having a great time. We appreciate the outstanding support of Mayor Hernandez and the City of Pharr as our primary sponsor of this amazing program which just does not serve Pharr students, but those in the entire Rio Grande Valley.
This events energy was amazing and the FIRST-RGV program continues to grow by huge percentages. FIRST is an international program in more than 88 countries with more than 250,000 students enrolled each year. The RGV participants are just now starting to organize their teams and will start building their robots over the next couple of months. The first competitive event will be for the FTC program and is expected to be in mid November, 2017.
Both programs are eager to go for their chance to go to the FIRST World Championship which will be April 18-22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. For more information on this exciting STEM program in the RGV, please use the contact form and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.