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First Tech Challenge Super-Regionals get underway in Scranton

First Tech Challenge

SCRANTON (WOLF) -- Friendly competition, but learning valuable skills along the way.

72 teams from Maine to West Virginia gathering in the Long Center at the University of Scranton for the First Tech Challenge East Super-Regional Competition, one of four regional tournaments across the country.

Tom Zawislak, Tournament Director, said, “They’re robotics programs, meant to encourage kids from Kindergarten through 12th grade to get engaged in STEM-related activities, science, technology, engineering, and math, and also it’s a mentor-based program so they learn from adults and other team members, and they also learn team-building skills that take them and carry them through their lives.”

Team Out of the Box from Downingtown in Chester County, a shining example of that team-building aspect providing assistance to 13 underprivileged teams in Philadelphia.

“Instead of it being just a competition of trying to defeat everybody, you actually try and help other teams and beyond just helping other teams, grow together. So you make friends, and the team that you might have just had to play against and lost to, you’re then going to go help if their robot broke or something like that,” Brandon B., from Team Out of the Box, said.

And the Techno Chix, made up of girls from different Girl Scout troops throughout the Hudson Valley of New York, who want to show that girls have a place in STEM too.

“We’re all very passionate about STEM, especially girls in STEM. So that’s when we came to Girl Scouts and this team has been running for 11 years now, so we’re here and we’re trying to build on their legacy and make it even better,” Emilia Budzikowski, with the Techno Chix, said.

They went head to head with the Enderbots from Corning, New York.

SOT: Ryan T., with the Enderbots, said, “We’re just happy to be here today just like all the other teams, this is such a great event, great program, teaching students STEM everywhere around the world.”

And the Hard-Hitting Hardware Hooligans from Montgomery County, Maryland, who won the match.

Richie L., with the Hard-Hitting Hardware Hooligans, said, “I love the atmosphere, everybody’s having such a great time, we’re all so friendly. Even though we’re going against each other in a way, we all work together and it’s just amazing to see.”

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