FIRST Robotics Detroit Regional hits WSU Matthei Athletic Complex

DETROIT - March Madness returns to Wayne State University this weekend in the form of the FIRST Robotics Detroit Regional Championship.

The competition will be played out on the WSU basketball courts Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15 with high school student participants representing some 31 teams from Michigan.

The competition is free and open to the public.

Technology and innovation begins with sparking young minds, and no other science and math program has proven more engaging to students than the nationwide FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program. Wayne State is demonstrating its support by hosting a regional for the fifth consecutive year. 

Two other regionals will take place in Michigan in successive weeks in Allendale (March 20-22) and Ypsilanti (March 27-29), along with 37 others taking place around the world, all culminating in the National championships at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 17-19. 

“Because it’s hands-on, it really engages students,” said Ralph Kummler, dean of the Wayne State College of Engineering. “The beautiful thing is it is not just about students looking for solutions out of their textbooks. This is about creating solutions that come out of their own minds. When you see them in action, you quickly realize they represent the best of our next generation and hope for a better future for Michigan.”

Each high school team had six weeks to design and deliver their individual robot to meet the specific game requirements of this year’s competition.

Teams compete in a spirited, no-holds barred tournament with referees, cheerleaders, scoreboards and time clocks. For the finals, two teams made up of alliances of three schools each compete head-to-head.

Through its Honors Program, Wayne State is offering four-year full tuition Presidential Scholarships to qualifying FIRST participants. To be eligible, students must apply to Wayne State, have a 3.5 GPA, and have taken the ACT (American College Test) entrance exam.

Attendance and parking at the Detroit Regional is free. Opening ceremonies for each day is at 9:30 a.m., but the venue will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. For a complete agenda, go to www.eng.wayne.edu and click on the FIRST Robotic announcement.

Wayne State’s Matthaei Athletic Complex is located at the intersection of Warren Avenue and the southbound Lodge Freeway Service Drive on the southwest corner of campus.