North Carolina State Championship Robotics Competition held in Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A robotics championship was held over the weekend in one Eastern Carolina county with the hopes of giving younger kids a passion for science.

Saturday and Sunday, F.I.R.S.T North Carolina Robotics held its state championships at Minges Coliseum in Greenville, where over 40 robotics teams from across the state fought for a shot at the world championships. The competition provided students with the chance to better their skills.

“I know how to do things that I would’ve never possibly thought of a year ago,” 11th grader Rithi Raja said.

F.I.R.S.T., which stands for ‘For Inspiration, Recognition of Science and Technology’ is devoted to helping young people discover their passion for science, engineering, technology, and math (S.T.E.M.).

“S.T.E.M. touches every aspect of our lives and the more you know about S.T.E.M. and the better you understand S.T.E.M., the better your life is going to be,” F.I.R.S.T. North Carolina President Marie Hopper said.

Teams had 7 weeks to build robots from scratch to play a themed game that changes every year.

“We worked like every single day,” 12th grader Karthik Balamurali said. “Six days of the week. We’re here four to five hours and we’re just building.”

Some teams, like the RJR Cyber Demons, faced numerous obstacles during the competition. They say it was the generosity of other teams that helped them have a fighting chance.

“The other teams all helped us get to where we are today, and overcoming those challenges, it brought us closer as a group,” RJR Cyber Demons said.

Despite it being a competition, teams had the opportunity to grow and learn while getting one step closer to achieving their dreams.

“You’re learning computer aid design, learning electrical skills, learning how to work with metal using all of these cool machines,” Balamurali said.

The world championships will be held in Houston from April 17th to April 20th, where over 600 teams will be competing.