University Hosts FIRST Robotics Competition

The Department of Physics and Astronomy sponsored the FIRST Robotics team from West High School (Team 3006, Red Rock Robotics). The FIRST Robotics league ( involves high school students who work in teams to design, build, and compete robots to address specific challenges each year. The Department has sponsored this program in an effort to increase high school student interest in science, engineering, technology, and the importance of team-led organization for complex problem solving.


The Department of Physics and Astronomy sponsors the West High team during the six-week build season as well as during the competition season and off-season. West High students have taken machine shop and programming courses in the Department, and use labs and the machine shop in the JFB building for building and testing the robot. During 2010, the West High students also built a `test arena’ on the NROTC gun deck, which was used by numerous Utah schools to ‘field test’, their robotic designs with actual competition.

In early March, the University hosted the 2010 FIRST Robotics Utah Regional Competition, involving students from 33 high schools in Utah, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The teams and their robots squared off at the Huntsman Center, in round robin games of robotic soccer. In the 2010 Utah regionals, the West High Team received the `Engineering Inspirational Award’ for their robot design, and also competed at the National Championships in Atlanta, GA (April 2010).