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Roboticon Takes Over USF Sun Dome

In its 4th year, FIRST Roboticon moves to the University of South Florida.


The sound of gears grinding and metal clashing filled the University of South Florida Sun Dome, as USF hosted the 4th local “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Roboticon.” 

Through four different programs, broken down by age group, hundreds of students from grades K through 12 spent the weekend learning, building, fixing and driving their creations, competing against teams from around the state, and the world.                                  

Rocky the Bull makes an appearance as students compete. 

Outgrowing its previous venue, Terri Willingham, regional director of FIRST Robotics in Central Florida, made the push to move the event to USF, where students had the opportunity to tour the campus, including the USF College of Engineering’s facility.

Students from China get a tour of the USF College of Engineering Lab.

“The hospitality, the venue itself and working with the University of South Florida community has been absolutely fantastic,” Willingham said.

The FIRST program was created in 1989 by world famous inventor, Dean Kamen. FIRST launched its 1st Robotics Competition in 1992, and has continued to celebrate the world of science and technology ever since. The competition made its way to the Tampa Bay area in 2013.

Photos, story and video by Ryan Noone, USF Communications and Marketing.

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