Pender robotics teams gear up for FIRST regional competition


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County Schools is sending three robotics teams to the F.I.R.S.T. regional competition at UNC Pembroke this weekend.

F.I.R.S.T. stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

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Pender High, Pender All-County, and Topsail High are the three teams competing.

Pender County Schools spokesman Alex Riley said the robots were built over a course of 6 weeks with 180 hours of work to get ready by the students.

Riley said altogether, about 30 kids are taking part in everything from marketing to fundraising to engineering to programming.

Riley said the robots essentially compete in a field of challenges or tasks.

“There’s multiple rounds and you’re never facing the same teams,” Riley said. “Approximately 36 total opponents will compete at this regional meet and the top 36 from across the state will move on to the state final.”

Riley said all three teams stand a chance of qualifying for the state competition, and it would be the first time in district history that any robotics team has moved on to compete at the state level.