DENHAM SPRINGS -- Robots collided inside Denham Springs High’s Hornsby Gym when the school hosted the Dow Red Stick Rumble on Saturday, Aug. 24.
More than 500 students on 20 teams from Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi competed in the event, which served as a friendly offseason contest for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition and Festival. The program was sponsored by Dow Chemical and the Livingston Parish school system.
The Hornsby Gym was transformed into “Planet Primus,” where teams competed with their 120-pound robots to fill rockets and cargo ships while combating unpredictable terrain and weather patterns.
Each high school team had six weeks to work with mentors and coaches from their community to design and build their robot. Louisiana teams from Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lafayette, New Orleans, and Slidell as well as teams from Texas and Mississippi participated in the competition.
The public was invited to the free event, where people got the chance to witness giant robots battling it out for a chance to win the coveted Red Stick Rumble trophy. Visitors were also allowed to tour the pits and catch a glimpse of robot construction and repair.
This was the Red Stick Rumble’s first year in its new location, and it served as an opportunity to spotlight the new Denham Springs High School STEM and Robotics Center, which opened this school year.
FIRST Robotics is an international youth organization that operates the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League Jr., and FIRST Tech Challenge competitions. Founded in 1989, its goal is to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields.