Students from the Coastal Bend and surrounding areas competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration of Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge Qualifier hosted at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on Saturday, Dec. 14.

High School and Middle School students from Moody High School, Three Rivers High School, Flour Bluff ISD, the School of Science and Technology, Lackland ISD and Brandeis High School from San Antonio, and San Felipe Del Rio ISD participated in the Tech Challenge Qualifier, which witnessed student teams entering robots designed and created by the students for the competition.

"This was Texas A&M University- Corpus Christiís second Islander FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier," said Engineering Education Program Coordinator Korinne Caruso. "FTC is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model."

After participating in qualifying rounds, teams had the opportunity to make repairs to their robot for the elimination matches. 18 teams registered for the qualifying rounds, and only 13 qualified. In the end, 6 of the student teams advanced to the FTC Alamo Regional Championship in San Antonio in February, including two teams from Moody High School in Corpus Christi.

"It gives the College of Science and Engineering great pleasure to provide an opportunity to our local area students to participate in events such as FTC that provide skills in STEM fields, opportunities for advancement within their community and the possibility of a career within the STEM industries," said Caruso.