CWU News

Robots to Invade Central Washington University on Friday and Saturday

More than 700 students, in grades nine through 12, from 35 teams across Washington and Oregon will be in Ellensburg Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, for the Washington FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) regional competition, hosted by Central Washington University.

FIRST is an acronym meaning “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

The teams have designed and built robots, based on a themed challenge, with limited resources, and under strict rules. 

They had just six-weeks to create, construct, and test their robots to meet the contest challenges. 

This year’s competition is called Aerial Assist. It involves two competing alliances of three robots each competing on a 25-by-54 foot field. The teams try to have their robots score as many goals as possible during two-and-a-half minute matches. The more goals score—and the more the teams work together to do it—the more points they receive.

The free, public competition, in CWU’s Nicholson Pavilion, is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. In addition, portions of the event will be available on streaming video from the Washington First Robotics events channel..

The top 64 teams from Washington and Oregon will advance to the Pacific Northwest Championship next month in Portland, Oregon. Nationwide, students involved in FIRST are eligible for 900 individual scholarships totaling more than $19 million.

FIRST Robotics combines science, technology, and teamwork in helping students develop their skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). They’ve received guidance from professional engineering and business mentors who have volunteered their time and talents to teach the students valuable engineering, project management, and entrepreneurship skills. 

Affiliated with the national FIRST organization, the non-profit Washington FIRST Robotics has 111 teams across the state.

Photo: The Student Union and Recreation Center at Central Washington University is filled with teams of young people competing in a FIRST Lego League robotics competition in 2013.

Media contacts: Erin McCallum, president Washington FIRST Robotics, 206-619-1525,; Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,

March 25, 2014