Robot competition takes over RPI

TROY, N.Y. – Robots invaded Troy Friday as students took part in a high school competition.

Kate Saulsbery is a mentor at Colonie High School.

“This is a program designed to get students engaged, interested and actively learning about science, technology, math, engineering; especially engineering,” she said.

The students learn by forming a team and taking six weeks to build a robot. Then the teams compete in a kind of robot Olympics.

Frank Merrick is the Director of the FIRST Robotics Competition.

“I'm so excited to be here,” he said. “It's a brand new regional for FIRST Robotics Competition, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the great engineering universities really in the world. 48 really excited ambitious teams working hard and showing us what they can do on the field.”

High schools from around the Capital Region, New York and the world came to compete. For many, robots are like a family business.

“My older brother and sister were on the robotics team at Shenendehowa,” Shen student Bethany Angeliu said. “They got interested through the technology department at Shen, so I got reeled into the robotics group and kinda found out what I wanted to do engineering, but there's a lot more to the program than engineering. There's communication, leadership and really crucial 21st Century skills that you don't always get in a traditional classroom setting.”

The winner will be announced Saturday.

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