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This weekend’s FIRST Tech Challenge Interleague Tournaments at The Palmdale Aerospace Academy

Creativity and science will come together at this weekend’s FIRST Tech Challenge Interleague Tournaments at The Palmdale Aerospace Academy where 44 mentor-guided teams of 12- to 18 year-old students will demonstrate their problem-solving skills, creative thinking, teamwork, competitive play, sportsmanship, and sense of community.

Area young people, ages 12 to 18 are among 69,000 students around the world who have readied their FIRST Tech Challenge robots to explore uncharted planets for the 2018-19 season game, ROVER RUCKUS presented by Qualcomm.

To successfully complete the space-themed game, teams of young people must program robots to compete on a 12’ x 12’ field, in an alliance format, against other teams. The Android smartphone-controlled robots are powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platform and coded using Java. Through hands-on experience and working in teams, students learn the value of hard work and creative problem-solving.

400 students and 44 teams, Saturday will be 20 teams from the Ventura and Orange County area. Sunday will be 24 teams from Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley. Teams go head to head, putting 8+ weeks’ worth of research, design, and programming to the test in a regional Tournament to win honors and recognition.

Teams are competing for the chance to qualify for the Los Angeles Regional Championship in Monrovia on March 9. The season will culminate with the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship in Houston, Texas, April 17-20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center, and on April 24-27 at the Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan.

Saturday & Sunday - February 16 & 17, 2019; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Opening Ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Qualifying Matches from 11:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Playoff Matches from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Awards Ceremony at 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Palmdale Aerospace Academy

3300 E. Palmdale Boulevard

Palmdale, CA 93550

VISUALS: -Amazing, custom-built robots come to life in fast-paced, timed competitions

-Hundreds of festively dressed local students and their mentors putting designs and skills to the test

-Young people interacting with local volunteers and meeting with judges from community organizations

-On-site teamwork, troubleshooting, problem solving

-Spirit and excitement as students, families, friends cheer for their local teams

Awards that are given include the:

  • Inspire Award – team that best exemplifies the spirit of FIRST Tech Challenge

  • Think Award – team that best manages the engineering design process

  • Connect Award –team most connected to the local and engineering community

  • Rockwell Collins Innovate Award – team with the most ingenuity and inventiveness

  • Design Award – team with the most compelling industrial design elements

  • Motivate Award – team acts as Ambassadors for FIRST; exemplifies outstanding outreach/recruitment efforts

  • Control Award – team that uses sensors and software to enhance the robot’s functionality on the field

  • Promote Award – challenges teams to submit a high quality 60-second PSA (Public Service Announcement) based on an annual theme

  • Compass Award – teams submit a video nominating an outstanding coach or mentor

  • FIRST Future Innovator Award – team that creatively solves a problem beyond the season requirements

  • Winning Alliance Award – Alliance that wins the final elimination rounds

  • Finalist Alliance Award – Alliance in the final match of the competition

*Access to and interviews with students, teachers, coaches, mentors and local sponsors available upon request.

ABOUT FIRST® Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $80 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST®Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST®LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to

To learn more about the ROVER RUCKUS challenge, go to

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, and FIRST® Tech Challenge are trademarks of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 FIRST. All rights reserved.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

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