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April 2, 2024

SVSU to host FIRST® Robotics state championship for 6th year

Over $4 million in economic impact to region expected

three young people in blue jackets

For the sixth year, robots will take over Saginaw Valley State University’s Ryder Center as SVSU hosts the FIRST® in Michigan state championship, beginning Thursday, April 4, and running through Saturday, April 6. The competition is expected to bring 160 FIRST® Robotics teams representing high schools throughout the state. In addition to the 5,000 students, SVSU expects an additional 4,000 visitors to campus.

The FIRST state championship delivers an economic boost for businesses throughout the community. According to a report by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, the 2022 competition generated more than $4 million in direct spending.

The goal of FIRST in Michigan is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators. The FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students combines the excitement of a varsity sport with a robot-building experience that encompasses design, machining, programming and marketing. Teams compete in qualifying district events, with winners being determined by a point system. In Michigan, there are 514 FIRST Robotics teams. The 160 top-ranked teams advance to the state championship. Winners at the state level will advance to the international FIRST championship in Houston.

SVSU faculty, staff and students volunteer their time to support local schools and education programs, and more than 300 individuals ― faculty, staff, students and alumni ― have volunteered during previous championships on campus. 

The theme for the 2024 FIRST Robotics competition is CRESCENDOSM, presented by Haas. In the competition, two alliances of three teams each compete to score or play notes in three different field elements, amplify their speaker, get onstage, harmonize and take the spotlight before time runs out.

This year, several teams are returning to the FIRST state championship at SVSU for the sixth consecutive year:

  • BlitzCreek, Bullock Creek High School
  • The Chimeras, Center for Innovation, Lapeer
  • EngiNERDS, Grand Blanc High School
  • Martians, Goodrich High School
  • Metal Muscle, Flint Community Schools
  • Strike Zone, Lapeer High School & Center for Innovation

The anticipated daily schedule of the competition is as follows:

Thursday, April 4: Drop and load-in will be from 8 a.m.- noon. Practice matches begin at 10:30 a.m. and run until 3:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies will take place between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m.

Friday, April 5: Pits open at 8 a.m. Matches are scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., with a lunch break from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Teams that qualify for the playoffs will form alliances Friday evening to prepare to compete on Saturday. 

Saturday, April 6: Pits open at 8 a.m. Opening ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. Intradivisional playoff matches are scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of divisional awards at 12:30 p.m. The teams that qualify for the finals will calibrate their robots at 2 p.m., and the final playoff (interdivisional) matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. The awards presentations will follow, starting sometime after 4 p.m.  

Schedules are subject to change. For up-to-date information, visit