Volunteers Needed for High School Robotics Competition at Southeast


Volunteers are needed for the 11th annual high school FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) robotics competition from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Student Recreation Center at Southeast Missouri State University.

The FIRST Technology Challenge is for youth ages 13-18 in grades 7 -12.  This year’s challenge is Skystone. Humans and droid allies will work together to create a structure that pushes into the skies to represent their alliance. As part of the mission, teams will be challenged to overcome obstacles that stand in the path to build a superstructure of the future, topping it off with a crown of achievement — a final capstone to symbolize their reach into the sky, and dreams of a hopeful future.

Robotics competition volunteers must be 16 or older. No special skills are needed. While some roles will require training, most do not, and most of the training is done the day of the competition. A limited number of volunteer roles are available that are mornings or afternoons only, however, most volunteers are needed for the entirety of the day.

In exchange for their time, volunteers will be provided with breakfast and lunch, and will be able to see the wonderful work and creativity of youth in the region.

Interested volunteers are asked to register at http://www.firstinspires.org. Click “Log In” in the upper right. A complete volunteer resource guide is available at https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/volunteer/general-volunteer-resources.

Those who have previously served as volunteers may sign in with their account information. Those new to the website should “Register” in the upper right corner or select “Sign Up here” below the log in button. Once an account has been created, applicants should ensure all the information in their “Profile” is correct (especially the Consent Release).

When the sign-in or sign-up process has been completed, volunteers will see the “Volunteer Registration” in the main dashboard. Select “Volunteer at an event”.  Applicants should select FLL or FTC, United States, Missouri, and 63701 as the ZIP. The competition at Southeast should then be shown on the right.

On the next screen, volunteers should select the days they are available and the roles in which they are interested. They should then click “next” and then “complete.”

After volunteers have completed registering for an event, it will prompt them to complete a Youth Protection Screening. If it doesn’t show this requirement met, volunteers should begin the screening. In the Youth Protection section, applicants do not need to pay the fee, if they do not wish to do so and may select to pay later. FIRST will cover this cost.

Entering a Social Security number is not mandatory. It is important that volunteer information match with the information input in the registration process. Volunteers should receive an email that they completed the Youth Protection application and will receive an email when their background check has been completed. 

Once signed up, volunteers will be placed in a volunteer role, usually within one or two weeks, although roles may change as the competition’s needs change. For roles that require pre-competition training, volunteers should receive emails before the competition about any training needs. All event volunteers will receive more detailed information about the event closer to the date of the competition.

The FIRST family of competitions emphasize contributions of others, friendly competition, learning, and community involvement.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/.

Those with questions should contact Dr. Brad Deken at Southeast Missouri State University at (573) 651-2104.