2014 FIRST Robotics Competition kicks-off at Bradley University

By WEEK Reporter

2014 FIRST Robotics Competition kicks-off at Bradley University

January 4, 2014 Updated Jan 4, 2014 at 7:41 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- 70,000 high school students world-wide are competing to build the best robots.

Saturday marks the start of the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition. Hundreds of students attended this year's kick-off at Bradley University Renaissance Coliseum.

Students have six weeks to design, build, program and test robots to meet an engineering challenge.

NASA revealed the game for 2014 is 'Aerial Assist'. Students are designing robots to move a 24-inch game ball down a field and into goals in order to score points.

"We are all bright individuals, and we love doing it," said Metamora High School student Jenna Gardner. "Being able to work together to create something spectacular and to do different tasks that we probably would never be able to do without the teammates that we have--it's just amazing to be able to put something together like that."

Student teams have mentors to help as well as a starter kit of tools. These students will compete at regionals in February. The winners will continue onto the international competition on April 24-26.