Eighty teams of students from more than 50 local high schools will take their 15-pound custom-built robots into battle during the 14th annual Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ Finals inside the Convocation Center.
BotsIQ is a national program supported locally by the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association.
The event, April 26-27 in the Convocation Center, uses gladiator-style battles and a spirit of competition to build students’ skills in science, technology, engineering and math.
The opening ceremony is 9:05 a.m. April 26. Bouts begin at 9:45 a.m. inside a pair of shatter-resistant cubes. On April 27, battles begin at 9:15 a.m. following the 8:45 a.m. opening ceremony. The championship bout is tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 6:15 p.m.
Admission is free, and the public is invited to watch.
A free STEAM Showcase from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days on the concourse level will spotlight science, technology, engineering, arts and math. It includes a visit from Intermediate Unit 1’s mobile fabrication laboratory, or fab lab.
BotsIQ is intended to build career pathways for students who are interested in STEM. Manufacturers and other sponsors work side by side with mentors, teachers and parents to develop STEM skills and connect students with employers, workforce training opportunities and higher education options.
SWPA BotsIQ is managed by New Century Careers and affiliated with the National Robotics League, which holds its national competition May 17-18, also at the Convocation Center.
This is the eighth year for the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ finals to be held at the Convocation Center.