SC State Prepares for the 5th Annual FIRST Tech Robotics Competition: “Hot Shot”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More than 50 high school teams from across the state of South Carolina will design, build and program robots during the 5th annual FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competition on Friday, Dec. 4-Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton (SHM) Memorial Center located on the campus of SC State University.

Sponsored by the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Organization, the U.S. Department of Education and SC State’s James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center, the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competition allows high school students the ability to apply real-world math and science concepts and develop problem-solving, creativity, organizational and team-building skills while building their own competing robot.

“SC State continues to host one of the largest FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Competitions in the nation,” said Lamar Tisdale, technology transfer and training coordinator at SC State. “Our excitement continues to grow as we make preparations for this year’s event, which has grown to a two-day event as a result of its success,” he continued.

SC State has served as host for the robotics competition for the past five years, to include the 3rd annual FIRST Vex Challenge, the largest in the nation, which consisted of over 600 students and comprised of 63 teams from high schools across South Carolina.

Teams will be randomly paired into alliances of either red or blue, with robotic drivers conducting their robots across the playing fields, picking up softballs and taking them to “goals” located in the corners and on the sides of the field.

At the conclusion of the event, each team will receive a plaque. Winners will receive a trophy and go on to compete in the National Championship Tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. The national robotics competition is part of FIRST, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

The 2008 winners were the Fembots from the Anderson Career Center in Anderson, S.C.The Fembots

The Fembots, who started constructing their robot in late September 2008, returned for the 2nd year to participate in the competition. Senior high school student and member of the Fembots, Carolyn Lennon, looks forward to coming to SC State each year to participate in the annual robotics competition.

“I enjoy the robotics competition because it gives us an opportunity to design things from the area of engineering and teaches us strategies we can use in the real world,” said Lennon.

Additionally, in 2008 the group started a girls’ camp, ‘Gateway Academy,’ which encourages young girls to learn about the areas of science and technology.

Will the Fembots remain the undefeated champions of the FIRST Tech Challenge or will another team take the championship?  Join SC State for the 5th annual FIRST Tech Challenge to find out!

For more information contact Lamar Tisdale, technology transfer and training coordinator, at 803-516-4532 or You may also contact Ashley Elliott, assistant public relations director, at 803-533-3802 or