Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced the results of the 2013 FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) Arizona Regional, held March 22-23, 2013 in Chandler.
Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School; Tempe Preparatory Academy, Tempe; and Buena High School, Sierra Vista qualified to compete in the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, April 25-27, 2013 in St. Louis, MO. Kingman High School/Kingman Academy of Learning, Kingman; Yuma High School, Yuma; and Rockwell-Collins & Escondido Charter High School, Escondido, Calif. were Regional Finalists. Students had six weeks to build a robot capable of competing in this year’s competition, the game called Ultimate AscentSM, where teams joined forces to fling saucer-like discs through various slots during several two-minute and fifteen-second matches. Extra points were scored for robots that could hang from a 10 foot tower in the final seconds of the match. Any student participating on a FIRSTteam is eligible to apply for more than $16 million in scholarships.
“The engineering challenge presented by FIRST to build a functioning robot that must accomplish specific tasks inspires students to find creative solutions using math, science and engineering, while adhering to strict deadlines. Working with industry mentors, students learn marketable skills such as working on a team, critical thinking, marketing and problem solving, while having fun at the same time,” said Steve Sanghi, president and CEO of Microchip Technology, co-chair of the FIRST Arizona Regional Planning Committee, FIRST sponsor and member of the FIRST Board of Directors.
Chandler, Ariz.-based Microchip Technology is the organizing sponsor of the FRC Arizona Regional. Fifty high-school robotics teams competed in the 2013 FRC AZ Regional, including 44 teams from Arizona, three from New Mexico, two from California and one from Mexico. AZFirst, a non-profit organization, awarded the Steve Sanghi Scholarship to Bianca Rodriquez, a senior at Carl Hayden High School, Phoenix, AZ. Funded by Steve and Maria Sanghi, this scholarship totals $16,000 over four years, and is awarded to an outstanding FIRST participant who intends to pursue a college degree in science, technology, engineering or math. Coconino High School won the Regional Chairman’s Award, which recognizes the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate, and embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Christine Sapio, teacher at Coconino High School, Flagstaff, a FTC (FIRST Technical Competition) Affiliate Partner, received the “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” award for her success in growing the FTC robotics program for middle-school and high-school students.
Additionally, Dave Thompson, FIRST coach at Coconino High School, received the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award, which recognizes a teacher or engineer who demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math and creative design. Chris Brandt from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale was awarded the “Arizona Teacher of the Year,” based upon an essay written by his students.
Generous supporters of the 2013 FRC Arizona Regional included Organizing Sponsor Microchip Technology; Leader in Technology Sponsor Microchip Technology Employees; and Captain of Innovation Sponsors Army ROTC, Avnet, Craig and Barbara Barrett, Medtronic Foundation, Microchip Technology and Wells Fargo. Friends of the Future Sponsors included Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Go Daddy, ON Semiconductor, and Steve and Maria Sanghi. Regional Fan Sponsors included Chase Giving Foundation and Wishes in Stitches/Alan and Margaret Jannuzzi.
Due to the growth of local FIRST programs First Lego League, FTC and FRC), two separate FRC Arizona regional events are expected to be held in 2015. Recruitment of FRC teams is currently occurring, with a goal of doubling the number of teams in the next two years. For more information and to get involved, contact FIRST Regional Director Carol Popovich at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 792-7938.