FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Central Jersey College Prep hosted 24 teams from 13 high schools to compete in the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics meeting on Saturday.

The competing students from grades 7 through 12, had four to five weeks to design their robots to challenge each other in scrimmages designed to put their engineering skills to the test. 

"The 609 Cougars of Central Jersey College Prep goes way back with this program," FTC Chairman, Vince Frascella said. "They are one of our veteran teams, those are the kinds of people we look to host these events." 

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Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practiced engineering principles while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. 

The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java. Teams also raised funds, designed and marketed their team brand, and will do community outreach for which they can win awards. 

Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. 

The FIRST Tech Challenge is a year-long program, starting with registration in May and ending with the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in April. Saturday was a meet to gain points that will advance teams to the next level tournament play. 

Points won during "league/meets" will be taken to the New Jersey First Tech Challenge (FTC) Championship Tournament in February of 2018. Teams participating in the NJ FTC first start competing in October and November during small meets, then they move to larger meets in November followed by qualifiers in December and January. 

Qualifying teams square off in late January to determine who moves on to the league tournaments. The winners of the FTC Championship Tournament move onto the 2018 Easter Super Regional Championship competition in Scranton PA, following by the World Championship in Detroit, MI.

All of the events are free, except for the State Championship, each school that hosts the events absorb the cost. 

"Every year we add more and more events because we are growing," Frascella said. "We have almost 180 teams in New Jersey."

Interested schools can reach out via www.usfirst.org, but the preference is for schools with home teams. 

The teams with the highest point totals can be seen below:

Team 11754        EnergySmart FTC              of Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School of Somerset

Team 6069          Pingry Robotics                 of Pingry School of Basking Ridge

Team 12974        RobotSmart FTC                of Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School of Somerset

 Below is the list of schools which participated: 

Central Jersey College Prep Charter School

Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School

Montclair High School

Livingston High School

Immaculate Conception High School

South Hunterdon Regional HS

Bridgewater Raritan High School

High Tech High School (HCST)

Millburn High School

Pingry School

Essex County Vo Tech

Columbia High School

Roselle Catholic High School

FIRST® Tech Challenge

Mission

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Vision

"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."  Dean Kamen, Founder

Methodology

Engage kids in kindergarten through high school in exciting, Mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society.

TAPinto Franklin Township is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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