During the Dutch Technology Week, teams from all over the world will come to Eindhoven to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Dutch Open. This tournament takes place in the Klokgebouw on May 19th and 20th. The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a robotics competition that was created to promote technology among the youth.
Youth between the ages of twelve and twenty participate in the FTC, from secondary education and intermediate vocational education. In a half year time they build a robot that can participate in a game. This game is different every year, this season the robot has to shoot balls in a goal, lift up a space hopper and put it down somewhere and get a few ‘beacons’ in the colour of the team by pressing on it. The competition isn’t just focussing on building robots, but it tries to teach the kids the so called ‘21st century skills’. Thereby it is about skills like collaborating, critical thinking ability and creativity.
The event is organised by the organisation STEAMup, a Dutch foundation that organises FIRST competitions. The teams that participate in the Dutch Open are from Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US, there are also teams from Europe competing.
“We aren’t just organising a competition, we’re making it a real party.”Lennart De Graaf, STEAMup
Lennart De Graaf from STEAMup is talking about the event: “The fun thing about this tournament is the dynamics of the game. Teams must form an alliance with each other and the games are played two against two. However, teams don’t know what team they have to collaborate with beforehand and against whom they are playing. It could just be possible that you’re playing a game together and afterward have to compete against that same team. This setting creates surprises, makes it fun to watch and creates a good atmosphere. We aren’t just organizing a competition, we’re making it a real party.”
During this event, a lot more can be seen in the Klokgebouw in the field of robotics. Tuesday, May 16th, there is a First Lego League competition and on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, the FRC teams will compete against each other. Team Rembrandts will also be there to show and demonstrate their robot.
The event in the Klokgebouw is part of the High Tech discovery route on Strijp-S and is free to visit, without reservation.
Fotocredits: Ravetta Photography