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The robotics program at St. Vincent -St. Mary High School (STVM) is an extracurricular activity for its students with interests STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
The FIRST Tech Challenge is a robotics competition for high school students based on a sports model. For the last several years, STVM has fielded three teams that compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). Each team has approximately 8 students on it and meets after school on Monday through Thursday and some Saturdays in the Robotics & Rocketry Lab. Teams are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to complete a both a set of autonomous and remote-controlled tasks. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of completing the task.

During competition the teams are randomly paired with other teams from around the Midwest and compete as two team alliances against other teams, gaining points for completing tasks. Teams advance from two local qualifying tournaments in December and February to state championship tournaments, before advancing to the World Championship Tournament, held each year in St. Louis, Mo. The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) combines the excitement of sport with science and technology to create a unique varsity Sport for the Mind. FTC helps high-school-aged young people discover the rewarding and engaging world of innovation and engineering.

The teams have been team generously supported by private donors, Federal Express and Alcoa since the first teams were formed at the school in 2013. If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities or have any questions, please contact Bob Engels, the team advisor at

"The importance of this program is that is allows students who may not think they were very good at science or math to discover an aptitude when challenged with a "hands on" type of project that involves scientific principles at the heart of engineering design," said Robert Engels, STVM Robotics advisor.

 Mr. Bob Engels

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

In the spirit of the Gospel, we are committed to educate the whole person; to lead and to serve, enlightening the mind, developing the body, touching the heart, and inspiring the soul.