UMKC Hosts Regional Robotics Competition

Forty teams participate in sold-out event

Close to 500 students from the Kansas City region will put their robots to the test during the FIRST TECH Challenge (FTC) qualifying tournament on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering will host the competition in partnership with the KC STEM Alliance. The event is free, open to the public and will be in UMKC’s Swinney Recreation Center, 5030 Holmes, Kansas City, Missouri. The Opening Ceremony starts at noon, robot match play will run from noon through 5:15 p.m. An awards ceremony will immediately follow the finals (approximately 5:15 p.m.)..

The FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics competition allows students in grades 7-12 to apply real-world math and science principles while developing strategic problem-solving, organizational and team-building skills. Students use a robot kit, which is reusable from year-to-year, and is programmed using a variety of languages.

Teams of seven to 12 students will design, build and program their robot to compete in a 12-by-12 foot arena. The top six teams will advance to the Missouri State Championship to be in Rolla in March. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments. Winners also earn a place in the World Championship and can qualify for more than $10.4 million in college scholarships.

About UMKC School of Computing and Engineering

The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Computing and Engineering is Kansas City’s only university with ABET-accredited engineering, computer science and information technology degree programs. SCE’s internationally recognized faculty prepare students for today’s competitive job market by providing a curriculum that includes the latest technology and business trends, as well as a comprehensive education in each field’s theory and fundamental practice. Classes also build bridges to the professional world by partnering with local companies, organizations and engineers. To learn more about SCE, visit

About KC STEM Alliance

The KC STEM Alliance is a collaborative network of educators, business partners and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals for the community. The Alliance supports area STEM programs, including Project Lead the Way and FIRST, coordinates related research and program evaluation as well as facilitating school and industry partnerships. The Alliance supports efforts that provide a solid foundation of STEM education for all students, regardless of race, gender or economic status; thereby increasing the quality, quantity and diversity of job-ready candidates for local STEM employers and advancing economic development and progress in the community. To learn more about the KC STEM Alliance, visit

About U.S. FIRST

The FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an entrepreneur and inventor who has more than 440 patents and is best known for inventing the Segway Scooter. The organization was established “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership” with the hope that they will be motivated to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.