Over 400 students from 40 Oklahoma schools will participate in the 11th annual First Tech Challenge Robotics statewide championship this Saturday, February 22, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

This year’s game, SKYSTONE presented by Qualcomm, is a Star Wars themed event. Madeline Baugher, one of the organizers, said humans and droid allies work together to build a better world as citizens of the galaxy. Teams will cooperate and compete to raise buildings for a new city.

The students in grades 7-12 have to design, build and program a robot to move blocks from the construction zone to the building zone under skybridges.  They create a structure that pushes into the skies to build a superstructure of the future.  Each team will participate in six timed qualifying events. Eight teams will be selected to compete in the finals tournament.

The public is invited to view competition matches from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Pioneer Cellular Event Center (PCEC) on the SWOSU campus. Admission is free.

“This is exciting to see the unique and innovative designs of over 400 students,” Baugher said. “It will be a fun-filled activity.”

Participating teams from Shawnee and surrounding areas include: Atomic Gears from Shawnee, Absolute Zero from Shawnee and Grove Middle School from Grove.