DULUTH -- Sharp minds steered shiny metal machines around a basketball court over the weekend at the Gwinnett Convention Center during a hoops contest for robots.
There were more than 60 teams in attendance during the Peachtree Regional Robotics competition. Students of all ages were given six weeks to design and build a robot for the event, which featured teams from Peachtree Ridge, North Gwinnett, Norcross and Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology.
Peachtree Ridge was the regional competition winner and recipient of the creativity award sponsored by Xerox, and North Gwinnett was recipient of the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation.
Event organizer Valerie Strain said this year's event was "one of the most spectator-friendly games we've had."
Students used remote controls to try to get 120-pound robots to take shots at basketball hoops, while spectators watched, cheering on the heavy, metal machines.
Strain said participants spent Friday and Saturday mornings qualifying for events and were ranked at the end of the weekend. She said there were teams from all over the southeast that showed up for the gathering.
She said there were more than 2,000 high school students who attended the event. She described it as "not a science fair but more of a sports modeled event."
Added Strain: "Everybody walks away with a really great experience. It's was a big event and a great time."
According to its website, "FIRST (For Recognition and Inspiration of Science and Technology) engages, celebrates and inspires students as they discover that they can be successful in science, technology, engineering, marketing, website design, 3D animation, communications and more."
For more information, visit gafirst.org.