For the last 7 years we have hosted a scrimmage inviting all FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Iowa. The last couple years we have hosted this even on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa and invited the president of the university. At this event discussions were started talking with him about the possibility of a regional in Iowa. We have always dreamt of this possibility, and now it’s a reality. It all started with two of our mentors serving on the Cedar Valley STEM Committee which eventually formed into the planning committee for the Iowa Regional. The purpose of this committee was to start FIRST teams in Iowa. Rumors of a massive robotics competition in our very own town eventually turned into a full-grown project. We’ve stayed closely tied to the planning process with 2 mentors co-chairing, 1 coordinating volunteers, 1 handling finance, and 1 administrating the website, all to ensure this regional is an event our team will forever be proud of. In addition to hosting the regional on the UNI campus, the president of the university planned a robotics week that would end in the Iowa regional. Participants will have the chance to visit businesses that have different types of robots within their work place. If a business isn’t able to have visitors they can submit a video of a virtual tour of their workplace.
Our team has invited 8 area schools without FRC teams to watch the event in an effort to start more teams in the area. The regional also has all 4 FIRST programs represented to show the progression of the programs. This event would not be possible without the help from sponsors. The Iowa Regional has 12 great businesses and organizations with 7 of them local.
Link to Iowa FIRST website: iafirst.org
Link to Robot Week Website: http://www.cedarvalleyrobotweek.com/