POCATELLO — Robots built by 16 high school teams from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana are charged and ready to compete in the inaugural Idaho Invitational Robotics Competition at the Mountain View Event Center Friday and Saturday. Sponsored by the Idaho STEM Action Center, the Idaho Invitational, or I-squared, will be the first official in-person competition in the state after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. In promoting STEM among the nation’s high school students, it’s one of the few extracurricular activities that allow every single participant to turn pro in creating the next generation of engineers, programmers and scientists.

INFINITE RECHARGE is part of the 2020 FIRST season, FIRST RISE, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. Two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Each alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their shield generator for maximum protection. To activate sections of the shield generator, droids manipulate their control panels after scoring a specific number of power cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their rendezvous point to get their shield generator operational in order to protect the city.

After two seasons of cancellations, the September contest at the MEC is an off-season event to allow participants an in-person competition experience and to bring the excitement of a FIRST Robotics Competition to Eastern Idaho. For more information and to view the FIRST INFINITE RECHARGE demo, please visit https://idahofrcregional.org/i-squared-information