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San Jacinto College
FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition
News Release
Friday, April 08, 2011

PASADENA, Texas - Robots will take over San Jacinto College (SJC) on Saturday, April 16, during the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Houston area robotics tournament.
The event, to be hosted at Ander's Gymnasium at SJC Central, will feature robots made from kits composed of LEGO® TETRIX motors and additional parts. This year's theme, Get Over It!, will challenge participants to use robots to score more points than their opponent’s alliance by emptying baton dispensers filled with 6-inch long PVC tubes and scoring them in stationary and rolling goals. Opening ceremonies begin at 12 p.m., and  qualification matches kick off at 12:30 p.m.
"Today's students have never known a world without technology; they are digital natives, and their interaction with technology and electronic gaming is remarkable," said Sharon Sledge, SJC mathematics professor and one of the event coordinators. "Robotics provide an avenue for weaving the thrill of competition in with programming, creative design and problem solving - all of which are components of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields."

FIRST Tech Challenge is a national initiative designed for students who want to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 participants are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. San Jacinto College will host 20 new teams out of a total of 162 new FTC teams across the state sponsored by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Next year's event will advance teams to the regional competition, and ultimately, to the FTC World Competition.

“San Jacinto College has a long history of promoting student and community interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related careers,” said Alison Hennessey, SJC dean for community education and event coordinator. “Hosting this competition allows students from regional high schools to see the campus and network with volunteers who are not only their peers and San Jacinto College faculty, but engineers working in industry who are fellow robot enthusiasts.”     

San Jacinto College is one of 10 pilot qualifier events across the state of Texas sponsored by the Texas Workforce Commission and FIRST in Texas. Central campus is located at 8060 Spencer Highway in Pasadena. For more information on the FIRST Tech Challenge local competition, visit More information on the national initiative may be found at

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s workforce training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please visit, or call 281-998-6150.

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