Team SCREAM is ready to blast into another FIRST Robotics competition with the unveiling of this year’s challenge, “Destination: Deep Space."

Smith-Cotton High School’s competitive robotics team, its mentors and other program supporters gathered in the school’s Project Lead the Way wing as FIRST revealed the game on Saturday through a global simulcast, launching the six-week period in which teams will build their robot.

FIRST pioneer Dean Kaman said “Deep Space” was sparked by a conversation he had with Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and is a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the United States putting men on the moon.

“Deep Space” will challenge students to design, create and program robots that will attach covers to hatch openings and load playground-type balls as payload into cargo carriers and rockets, then return to an elevated base under time constraints.

PIC1: Michael Wright, head coach of Team SCREAM, Smith-Cotton High School's competitive robotics team, addresses team members and program alumni after FIRST Robotics revealed details of this year's challenge, "Destination: Deep Space," on Saturday, Jan. 5, in his classroom in the school's Project Lead The Way wing. Wright encouraged the students to understand how the game will be played before thinking about specific features for the robot they will build over the next six weeks.
PIC2: Team SCREAM captain Maria Aonzo makes notes as she pores over the game manual for "Destination: Deep Space," this year's FIRST Robotics competition challenge.