Technology group holds workshop for robotics competition

Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership session recruits teams, sponsors and mentors for FIRST tournament.
Jul. 20, 2018

Packaging robotics as a sport to recruit youthful talent into the STEM fields of science, technology, education and math is the goal of the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition. 

Not quite BattleBots — the MMA of machines armed with blades, hammers, saws and even flamethrowers — FIRST pits teams of robot builders against each other in a competition to design machines that perform physical tasks.

An informational event for parents, students, school representatives, volunteers and others interested in robotics technology is scheduled for Aug. 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers. The robotics competition is open to students in grades 9-12. Registration is open at

"Inspiring kids to pursue careers in technology and other STEM fields helps the Regional Technology Partnership fulfill one of its goals of cultivating a healthy pipeline of talent for employers in Southwest Florida," John LaFreniere, president of the Regional Technology Partnership, tells Coffee Talk. "The FIRST robotics program provides a premier platform for us to support both financially as well as through mentoring."

Chartered in 2008, SWFRTP is dedicated to the growth of the technology cluster in Southwest Florida. The nonprofit organization is a member of Lee County’s Horizon Council and is composed of technology companies and technology users, economic development groups and higher education institutions.