Student robotics contest coming to MNW

MANSON — A mechanical showdown featuring robots made by students from Iowa will be held in Manson for the first time on Saturday.

The event is called the First Tech Challenge. It is a robotics competition that “allows students to compete head to head using a sports model,” according to information posted on the event’s web site.

The competition will be held at Manson Northwest Webster High School. The site will open for the teams at 8 a.m. The competition will begin at 11 a.m. Teams from 13 schools will compete. The public is welcome to attend.

Manson Northwest Webster High School has a First Tech Challenge class taught by industrial technology teacher Brian Nelson and business teacher Matt Pohlman.

“First Tech Challenge forces students to do the work, to solve their problems and find solutions, and we’re there to help them a little if they need it,” Pohlman said in a written statement.

The Manson Northwest Webster First Tech Challenge team includes nine high school students and two junior high students.

The challenge at the heart of the competition is called Relic Recovery. In that event, each team’s robot must pick up foam blocks and place them in a vertical tic-tac-toe board called the Cryptobox.

Manson Northwest Webster started its First Tech Challenge program three years ago.