FIRST Robotics Competition Begins in Irving

High school students aspiring to become engineers fill the Irving Convention Center

A large group of future engineers are gathering this week in North Texas. The FIRST Robotics Competition Dallas is getting ready to begin at the Irving Convention Center.

FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

For six weeks, Alex Sandro Sene from Brazil said he spent countless hours on his team's newest creation.

"A lot of nights without sleep because we have to work on the robot... it's exhausting work," he said.

Program Manager Carolina Azevedo said the ninth through 12th graders work on creating a robot that can compete in a given task.

"They gave them the game, which in this year is going to be Frisbees," Azevedo said, "So they have certain field with point levels and they have to get their robots to be able to make points. And the robot also has to be able to climb a pyramid."

72 regional competitions take place in 48 states and seven foreign countries. Every team is looking for a spot at the national championship next month in St. Louis.

Azevedo said more visibility and success at competitions like this could lead to scholarships for many students.

"This is the generation that will be building our next phones and cars and different technologies," she said.

17-year-old Wesley Tavares said it was his third year participating in the competition. He said each year gave him an opportunity to learn from within his team as well as from those around him.

"Learning how to come up with different ideas, I've learned throughout my years that no idea is impossible. You just got to work with it." Tavares said.

The two-day competition began Friday morning.

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