Northwest DC school hosts robotics competition for DMV students

A school in Northwest D.C. is celebrating kids, science, and technology this weekend! 

The DC International School (DCI) is hosting dozens of middle and high school students from all over the DMV for a robotics building challenge on Saturday and Sunday.

The challenge brought together some of the best and brightest students D.C., Northern Virginia and Montgomery County to put their brains, and robots, to the test.

DCI, which is a public charter school located near Rock Creek Park in Northwest, played host to the tournament called the FIRST Tech Challenge. 

The challenge is a Robotics DC Qualifier that featured 26 different teams. 

The teams had to build robots that could complete various tasks while going head-to-head with robots from opposing teams.

"They usually involve manipulating objects climbing over obstacles doing things for time, so the kids design, build, wire, code, tests the robots all by themselves," Shane Donovan, the Career and Technical Coordinator at DCI, tells FOX 5. "A big takeaway is that anybody can get into this."

"We built a robot that could accomplish a task of putting these plastic cones on poles so as you can see we have a crane system and a claw," Owen Murphy, a participant in the challenge from the Alice Deal Dynamos team, told FOX 5.

The challenge welcomes students of all skill levels, technical or non-technical, allowing the students to pull from their varied experiences with coding, metalworking, electronics, graphic design, and web videography to help them build their robots.

In addition to designing and building the robots, the teams were also talked with fundraising to meet their goals, designing a team brand, and doing work within their local communities to raise awareness and appreciation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs.

FOX 5 spoke with participants of the challenge, who said they were enjoying the learning experience.

"Just want to do our best and hopefully win," said Chris Wang from Orca Robotics Potomac.

"It’s just a learning experience we don’t really care if we win or if we lose," Richard Thomas from Fairfax High School's "Roarbotics" 

The competition that is free and open to the public. It runs through the end of the weekend.