Latta High School had two teams qualify to attend the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship tournament in Columbia on February 25th. Of those two teams, the veteran team Steam Punks 11841, won all six of their preliminary matches and all of their elimination matches to become State Champions.
They performed consistently all day to beat out the other 23 teams that qualified for this event to secure their lead. With this accomplishment they are now invited to attend the FIRST World Championship event held in Houston in April.
There they will compete against 191 other teams from all over the world. This was the culmination of years of work by these students and a testament to the effort they have expended. The teams have performed demonstrations for local organizations like the Latta Rotary Club and the Palmetto Leadership Consortium.
They would also like to recognize those that have donated time, money and other resources to help them get to this point.
The team is now in the process of tweaking their robot and raising funds for the Houston tournament.
FIRST® Tech Challenge is one of four different STEM Education Outreach Programs that are part of FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit founded in 1989 by Dean Kaman, the inventor of the Segway standup scooter and many other unique inventions. FIRST® Tech Challenge is a world-wide program for grades 7-12 with over 7,010 teams serving approximately 70,100 students supported by over 16,000 volunteer mentors and coaches. Students who participate in FIRST® Tech Challenge are eligible for over $80 million in college scholarships provided by participating universities and sponsors. FIRST® “More Than Robots” type of student participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills.
PICTURED, left to right: Cody Snipes, Harrison Miller, Kaleb Mearite, Jackson Gardner and Will Kirby. (Contributed)