Pharr, TX- The City of Pharr Innovation and Technology Department, along with PSJA and FIRST-RGV hosted the RGV FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Saturday, February 4, 2017 at PSJA Southwest High School. More than 500 attendees filled the high school’s gymnasium; the atmosphere was electric and the bleachers were filled with posters, noisemakers, foam fingers, and flags to cheer on the participants.
The hard work that each and every team put into building their robot and branding their team was evident. Color coordination, matching tutus and capes, catchy team names, every team stood out and showed team spirit. Not only where these students creative and innovative, but perhaps what stood outmost was their grace and professionalism. Some teams even greeted their competitors with warm smiles and delicious treats to break the ice and start the friendly competition.
Teachers, district leadership and staff from UTRGV all came out to support the participants and cheered them as they battled it out for the title of the best robot in the Rio Grande Valley. 14 teams advanced to San Antonio and will be competing on February 23rd. The teams present demonstrated incredible sportsmanship and at the end of the night although only 14 teams advanced, every team became one step closer to changing the future of STEM.
FIRST RGV Blue League Championship
FIRST RGV Red League Championship
McAllen HighPSJA North
FIRST RGV Silver League Championship
Patriot Engineering 18
Patriot Engineering 13
Patriot Engineering 16
Stem programs such as FIRST-RGV allow students to be innovative. Encouraging STEM education for our students helps bridge the ethnic and gender gaps that are found in math and science fields. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the United States and it is important to support and foster these stem programs to better the future of our children. FIRST-RGV creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, promotes teamwork and enables the next generation of innovators.
Madeline Martinez, Junior at McAllen Memorial and future chemical engineer, “Building the robot was fun, before stem programs like this (FIRST-RGV) we just learned computer programs and now we get to implement these techniques. Stem is so important for our future. The engineering field is full of men and we need more women to join in because we need to show them that women can do it too.”
The City of Pharr is proud to be a sponsor of this great STEM program and congratulates all the participants and wishes the teams advancing to San Antonio later this month a good luck! For information about FIRST-RGV, visit teams.firstrgv.org.
Author: Clarissa Garza