- Southampton Elementary School
RPS Students Compete in Inaugural FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Scrimmage
Last week, students from around the district competed in the inaugural FIRST
Tech Challenge Robotic Scrimmage at Richmond Community High School.
Hosted by FIRST Chesapeake and sponsored by Qualcomm, the event brought together middle
and high school students from Richmond Community High School, John Marshall High School,
Franklin Military Academy, Boushall Middle School, Lucille M. Brown Middle School, Henderson
Middle School, and Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School.
The students worked for over eight weeks to design and build their robots for the FIRST RoverRuckus Challenge. The challenge used a playing field where teams strategized, form alliances,
and exercised critical thinking skills. Students and their robots played a space-themed game
that included obstacles such as descending from a space Lander, collecting and sorting
minerals from a crater and navigating a 12’X12’ playing field. Their robots were required to work
autonomously, as well as with drivers, to score points.
"This was such an inspirational evening! So many Metro Richmond organizations came together
to make this scrimmage possible, but what really impressed me were the teams,” said Leighann
Scott Boland, Executive Director, FIRST Chesapeake Robotics. “Not only did these RPS
students and their coaches spend countless after-school hours learning new skills and building
competition grade robots, they also stepped up to help each other during the event. When you
work with young people of this caliber, you realize that our future is in good hands.”
The teams were judged based upon their technical knowledge, creativity, teamwork, public
speaking, and enthusiasm.
“Innovation is messy and we need to be willing to be part of the mess as we do the important
work for students with an inaugural event such as this,” said Autumn Nabors, RPS Director of
Curriculum and Instruction. “Robotics helps to build critical and creative thinking, teamwork,
perseverance and so much more. I’m thankful to great partners like FIRST Chesapeake for
providing these opportunities for our children.”
About FIRST® Chesapeake
FIRST Chesapeake dba VirginiaFIRST administers the FIRST Tech Challenge Program in Virginia and
the FIRST Robotics Competition Program for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Each year,
FIRST Chesapeake directly impacts over 6,700 middle and high school students through robotics
workshops and competitions. Over 50,000 individuals attend 18+ FIRST Chesapeake robotics
competitions from December through April each year. To learn more about FIRST Chesapeake, go to