Tech Report: Inspiring future engineers

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(KPLR)  - In Wednesday’s Tech Report with Rich Demuro, Rich takes a look at a competition that’s meant to inspire the next generation of engineers. Some high schoolers are spending their free time building soccer playing robots.

Rich Demuro says: "It is called the first robotics competition. teens from around the world... battle robots that they build. sure, there`s money and prestige at stake, but the real mission, is inspiration in science."

For more than 20 years, high schoolers from around the world gather, for the first robotics competition. The challenge? Build a robot to compete with other machines.

Jieh Meinholen says: "Yeah it`s really fun because there`s so many people who have all these different inputs and they have different ideas. So everyone puts it together and then we get this awesome robot that`s had everyone`s input into it."

This year, the aim is to score as many goals as possible in a makeshift soccer arena. Bonus points if your robot can do it without human help.

Ric Roberts says: "This is the next generation of engineers. We give them a real world problems to solve and they can solve it using math and science, it helps them to make that connection."

Amy Hu says: "I actually was a big eye opener for me because I was able to see a robot that our team built and get to see how we were able to program it and it was just the most amazing thing ever."

Big name sponsors like Space X, Boeing, Microsoft, and even the CIA come to scout these young innovators.

Designing a winning robot just one part of the equation; there`s also more than 19 million dollars in scholarships, plus the chance to live out a real-life engineering dream.

Ric Roberts says: "Oh yeah, we`ve recruited a lot of kids from FIRST, again, all of the sponsors are having problems filling engineering jobs and this is the perfect training ground for engineers."

Rich Demuro says: "Engineers are a great thing for us, since they make our lives easier, and they make a pretty decent living. Now, the first robotics championship will be held in at the end of april in Saint Louis. Good luck to all those students. With your tech report, I'm Rich Demuro."

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