More than 600 middle and high school students converged on Norfolk State University as part of the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competition quarterfinals Feb. 4 at Joseph G. Echols Hall. Fifty teams used their problem-solving skills, creative thinking and team work to score points as their robots were challenged by rotating and stationary goals. The event was the last of five robotics competitions held throughout Virginia. The winners will compete at The FIRST Tech Challenge Virginia Championship from Feb. 25-26. The Virginia champions will go up against competitors in the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Patricia Mead, an NSU engineering professor, said the competition allows Norfolk State to advance its mission in exposing students to STEM programs at the University. Mead said it was the eighth year NSU has hosted this event.
“This is a program that promotes STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] careers, and student interest in pursuit of advance academic degrees across several technical and liberal arts disciplines,” Mead said. “This event is strongly aligned with our mission to provide opportunities for advanced education, to support the development of a diverse science and technology workforce, and to be a positive player in the Hampton Roads community.”