Second annual high school robot tournament comes to Ann Arbor's Forsythe Middle School

Local high school teams include Skyline, Huron, Pioneer

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer
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Skyline High School's First robotics team, Eagle Imperium (Photo: Skyline High School)

ANN ARBOR - Are you ready to see robots like you've never seen them before?

You can catch all the action this Saturday at Forsythe Middle School, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., where local Ann Arbor high school teams will be competing in the Washtenaw Pickup Robotics competition.

Teams include Huron, Pioneer, Skyline and teams from other nearby towns including Dexter. 

Eli Neiburger, mentor for Skyline's FIRST robotics team, Eagle Imperium, said WAPUR started last year as a practice round for the competition season. "With the other local high school teams, we're in our second year of running an informal, slapdash robot tournament in December as practice for the First Robotics Competition season, which begins in January," he said. "Washtenaw Pickup Robotics features teams of two student-built robots squaring off to score points in timed matches."

In the robot world, FIRST Robotics is a huge deal. 

The robot competition is just one of their programs. Haven't seen one in person? It looks pretty cool.

FIRST (which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit that was founded in 1989 by Dean Karmen, an inventor, entrepreneur and advocate for technology and science. Its mission:

"To inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

They've dubbed their competition the ultimate sport for the mind. High school teams from all over the world compete and anyone can start a team. The teams must have adult mentors who guide their work. Plus, kids who compete have the potential to win millions of dollars in scholarships from universities and colleges that support FIRST.

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