University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Campus to Host Robotics Competition Event

Robotics teams comprised of students in grades 7-12 from schools throughout west-central Pennsylvania will compete at the Pennsylvania FIRST® Tech Challenge on December 8, 2018, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s Wellness Center. 

The tournament is free and open to the public and all guests will experience a thrilling head-to-head competition in which 24 robotics teams will vie for a spot to compete at the 2018-19 PA State Championship.

“With this event, we hope to raise an awareness of the impact of robotics programs for schools and students and to inspire more teams in our local region to participate in the future. Currently, there are only four FTC teams in our region from Hollsopple, Salisbury, Johnstown and State College,” said Roxanne Jenner, Pitt-Johnstown’s Director of CODE Programs.

“The event is supported entirely by volunteers and the support from volunteers in our local community and from our University students and faculty has been incredible. Teams from Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania will travel to Pitt-Johnstown to compete in this exciting Sport for the Mind event and we’re expecting several hundred guests to attend the event.”

“It's really incredible that so many students have such an interest in robotics,” said Pitt-Johnstown sophomore Electrical Engineering major Noah McCloskey. “I'm looking forward to seeing all the different designs that they come up with and how they use them to compete.”

McCloskey, from Cresson, is president of the university’s AREC (Amateur Robotics and Electronics Coalition) club.

By serving as a robotic competition host site, Pitt-Johnstown is enforcing its commitment to real world action and promoting its educational initiative that has spread through and beyond the community.

Pitt-Johnstown launched a bold and ambitious effort in 2016 called CODE (Computational-Learning for Opportunities in a Digital Environment) for Commonwealth & Country – with the goal of enhancing digital literacy for workforce competitiveness, beginning in K-12 and beyond.

Co-hosting the event are the Robotic Doges from Hollsopple, PA, a recent world’s finalist robotics team.

FIRST programs inspire STEM innovation excellence by teaching participants a multi-disciplinary set of 21st century skills and immersing them in project-based learning and robotics competitions made possible by public and private partnerships.

Learn more about the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program »

FIRST programs inspire STEM innovation excellence by teaching participants a multi-disciplinary set of 21st century skills and immersing them in project-based learning and robotics competitions made possible by public and private partnerships.


About FIRST® Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-4. Gracious Professionalism® is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.firstinspires.org


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.