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Robotics teams supported by Arnold STEM compete, win awards at FIRST® Tech Challenge at MTSU

Team members with the Tennessee Robotics Club concentrate as they compete in a match at the Tennessee FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Placing first in the Inspire Award category, the group will go on to compete at the national level in Houston, Texas, in April. (Courtesy photo)

Team members with the Tennessee Robotics Club concentrate as they compete in a match at the Tennessee FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Placing first in the Inspire Award category, the group will go on to compete at the national level in Houston, Texas, in April. (Courtesy photo)

Following the awards ceremony, students with the Tennessee Robotics Club from Murfreesboro pose with their individual medals and team trophy at the FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. As winners of the Inspire Award, the Tennessee Robotics Club (TRC) members will go on to participate at the national competition in Houston, Texas. TRC is one of five area teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. (Courtesy photo)

Following the awards ceremony, students with the Tennessee Robotics Club from Murfreesboro pose with their individual medals and team trophy at the FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. As winners of the Inspire Award, the Tennessee Robotics Club (TRC) members will go on to participate at the national competition in Houston, Texas. TRC is one of five area teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. (Courtesy photo)

Students with the Small Town Robotics team from Shelbyville gather together for a photo during the FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Small Town Robotics is one of the area teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. (Courtesy photo)

Students with the Small Town Robotics team from Shelbyville gather together for a photo during the FIRST® Tech Challenge competition Feb. 8 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. Small Town Robotics is one of the area teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. (Courtesy photo)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Five robotics teams sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program attended the regional Tennessee FIRST® Tech Challenge, or FTC, competition in February at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.

The Tennessee Robotics Club from Murfreesboro was one of the Arnold STEM-sponsored teams to walk away with several accolades. As the Inspire Award-winning team, TRC will be joining other robotics teams from across the globe at the FIRST Houston World Championship in April. The team also received the top spot in the Winning Alliance category, second place in the Arm, Inc. Control Award category and third place in the competition overall.

Small Town Robotics from Shelbyville took several honors home as well, receiving first place in the Think Award, third place in the Motivate Award and third place in the Design Award categories.
Team SHARP from Spring Hill took first in the Motivate Award category and scored second place in the Winning Alliance category.

The other Arnold STEM-sponsored teams that participated were TACOCAT with the Agathos Classical School from Columbia and the Flying Fish Team from Shelbyville.

Olga Oakley, Air Force STEM outreach director, commended the students for putting their knowledge and skills to the test during these competitions.

“The teams worked very hard throughout the season and overcame many challenges while designing their robots,” Oakley said. “We hope the FIRST Tech Challenge teams inspire the FIRST Lego® League teams and excite the younger generations in regards to the future of STEM.”
Lego League teams are made up of elementary and middle school students, while FTC teams are made up of students in seventh through 12th grades.

As part of the FTC competitions, the teams are challenged to design, build, program and operate their robots to compete in challenges in an alliance format. These student teams are guided by adult coaches and mentors, and through these challenges develop their STEM skills. This is all while learning the value of hard work, innovation and teamwork.

Teams must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach, for which they can win awards. Additionally, participants have access to college scholarships through this program.

For more information about the FTC Championship competition results, visit: https://www.tnfirst.org/tennesseeevents/TNFIRST-Tennessee-FTC-Championship.