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Black Teens Win FIRST Robotics World Championship

A team of predominantly black students (three pictured above) from Cleveland, Ohio have just made history by winning the 25th annual FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship.

The students are attendants at Cuyahoga Community College’s Youth Technology Academy in Cleveland. The FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship is an engineering showcase that happens every year in St. Louis, Missouri.

This year, the event attracted 20,000 young contestants who came from countries all across the globe. The event lasts for four days. On the first day of the event this year, 40,000 people watched as the tens of thousands of the world’s brightest young engineers competed at the championship.

The team that won this year was the Tri-C team. They consisted of two-dozen students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. They are the first team from Ohio to ever win the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship.

“This was a phenomenal ending to a fantastic robotics season,” said George Bilokonsky, executive director of Tri-C’s Youth Technology Academy in a statement. “We are extraordinarily proud and truly inspired by these bright and talented students who worked so hard to triumph,” he continued.

The team went through 18 competitive matches before finally advancing at the championship tournament. Prior to winning the world championship, the Tri-C team competed in regional tournaments in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Palmetto, South Carolina.

The Tri-C team was sponsored by the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. A NASA engineer named Larry Oberle worked closely with the team as they built their winning robot. Oberle has been involved with helping teams prepare for the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship for 14 years.

This is how the FIRST compeition works. Teams of students work under the guidance of professional mentors like Oberle to design and assemble a robot in order to compete in the tournament. This preparation period lasts for six weeks. The robots vary in shapes and sizes and can be as tall as 4′ 6″.

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