The Westfield Robotics Club is hosting the Central Region Qualifier for FIRST Tech Challenge on Sunday, Dec. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the gymnasium of Westfield High School. Thirty teams from around the state will start competing around 10:15 a.m. and battle it out until 4 p.m.

Robot enthusiasts are invited to watch these robots fight for dominance. They’re competing in FIRST’s “SkyStone Challenge” competition, with top teams advancing to the state competition in March.

Free admission. Snacks, drinks and pizza for sale. All proceeds benefit the Westfield Robotics Club.

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The Westfield Robotics Club includes more than 20 Westfield students. The club is based at the Westfield High School, overseen by math teacher Louis De Angelo. Two teams from the Westfield Robotics Club will compete: That Hertz (seniors and sophomores) and Positive Charge (juniors, freshmen and 8th graders from Edison and Roosevelt Intermediate schools).

Each team competes at least five times during the day, in randomly-selected alliances with other teams. Matches include a 30-second autonomous period, where the robots are programmed to complete specific tasks, followed by two minutes where drivers from each alliance work together to make the robots gather “SkyStones,” move them across the field, place them on the team foundation, build a tower, and move the platform. At the November regional competition at Kean University, That Hertz advanced into the semi-finals. Last season, the club won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award.

Westfield Robotics is funded by parents and company sponsors, including Official Rocket Club, Westfield Braces, Westfield Pediatric Dental Group, Paul Denis Engineering, Napa Auto Parts, Home Depot and Arconic.

For any questions about FIRST Tech Challenge or other FIRST competitions, please visit www.firstinspires.org. For more information or to learn about donating or contributing engineering assistance, please email Mr. De Angelo (ldeangelo@westfieldnjk12.org) or one of the team coaches, Debbie Kaplan (dakaplan@hotmail.com).