Can local high school students build a working robot in just 45 days? That’s the mission for five robotics teams from across cottage country, including Huntsville High School, which are going to the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at Georgian College in March. Teams from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Haliburton will also be bringing a robot to the competition.

This is the second annual event for Georgian and will pit 30 teams against each other to see which robot can best perform a list of tasks. The competition is a combination of sports and science and technology.

Students will design, build, program and test their robots using math, programming skills, and welding. Teams will have to raise funds through community outreach, design a brand and build a robot. The teams will be judged on game points, teamwork, engineering skills and entrepreneurial spirit.

The FIRST Robotics Competition at Georgian College is one of nine across Ontario. The award-winning teams will move onto provincial championships in April, and the winners of that competition will go to the world championships in Detroit.

The competition is being held at Georgian’s Barrie campus. More than 1,000 people are expected to come out, and it’s a free event for spectators to check out. Volunteers are still needed for the event, which runs from March 2nd to the 4th. Anyone interested in helping out can find more details on the Robotics Canada website.