UWM to host state robotics championship Feb. 9

Hundreds of students from 24 schools in communities throughout Wisconsin are taking their robots to the ring Saturday, Feb. 9, in the FIRST Tech Challenge 2019 State Competition, hosted by UW-Milwaukee’s College of Engineering & Applied Science.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge is an internationally recognized program for students in grades 7 to 12. Student teams build robots that compete in a “thrill-of-victory-agony-of-defeat” sports alliance. The hands-on experience inspires students to expand their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning as they design, build, program and operate robots.

“The FIRST Tech Challenge aligns with our mission, helping us to inspire the next generation of engineers and computer scientists,” said Juli Pickering, director of career services for UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science and FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for Wisconsin. “It’s not rare for a UWM student to have come up through the FIRST program — this is the first step for many — inspiring them to explore these in-demand fields.”

UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science is offering FIRST participants the opportunity to apply for a $2,000 scholarship, which is renewable and could be worth $12,000 to $20,000 based on academic merit after the first year.

Through the FIRST Tech Challenge, students discover the rewards of collaboration and develop a deeper understanding of innovation and engineering. The program’s results are significant: Compared with students who don’t participate in FIRST Tech Challenge, over 86 percent of participants have more interest in doing well in school, 87 percent are more interested in attending college and FIRST alumni are 2.6 times more likely to enroll in an engineering course their freshman year.

At the end of the state championship, two teams will move on to the world championship in Detroit this spring.


Date: Feb. 9

Location: UWM Student Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.; most activities take place in the ballroom.

Times (afternoon times may vary slightly based on pace of event):

  • 10 a.m. – Opening ceremonies
  • 10:30 a.m. – First qualifying match begins
  • Noon – Lunch break
  • 12:45 p.m. – Qualifying matches continue
  • 3 p.m.- Semifinal and final matches
  • 4:15 p.m. – Awards and closing ceremonies