AU to Host FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championships


Anderson, Ind. — Anderson University is set to host the FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship April 7-8 in the Kardatzke Wellness Center and O.C. Lewis Gymnasium.

“We are so excited to host the FIRST Indiana Robotics State Championship on campus,” said Dr. Ben McPheron, chair of physical sciences and engineering. “Not only does the organization provide STEM outreach opportunities for high school students, but it allows us a chance to meet with those students, share about the programs at AU, and discuss educational and career opportunities with them.”

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, FIRST Robotics competitions have been called the “ultimate sport for the mind.” High school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”

Under strict rules, limited time and resources, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

A total of 32 high school teams have attended multiple district competitions and earned their way to the state championship through points and awards. The teams at this event will be competing to advance to the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas, April 19-22, where they will compete against 800 teams from approximately 40 countries. These teams have been working since January of this year, when they learned the details of the game they had to build a robot for.

FIRST Indiana Robotics is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured after-school programs in Indiana. Boosted by the FIRST global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST core values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.