MYRTLE BEACH — The organizers of the Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotics Competition have told city officials they want to hold their competition in Myrtle Beach from now on.
The competition, which is preparing for its 11th year, was held in Myrtle Beach for the first time earlier this year at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, bringing 65 teams from throughout the country and Brazil to the Grand Strand.
The organizers, nonprofit Palmetto Partners, told city spokesman Mark Kruea it would need about $120,000 to operate each year and is asking the city for help.
Councilman Philip Render said during a City Council workshop last week he supported the idea of the competition being held in Myrtle Beach annually.
“It’s a shoulder season event that is good for businesses,” he said.
Render told the other council members he would speak with Horry County officials, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and other entities to see how all could work together to allow the FIRST Robotics Competition to make Myrtle Beach its home.
“We hope to get community support, businesses and industry to help as well,” Kruea said. “It’s not something that would just be placed upon the city.”
About 1,200 students participated in the competition held from Feb. 28 to March 2.
FIRST Robotics is the largest organized competitive robotics program in the world and regional winners move on to a final tournament. Teams are given a game and a kit and students have six weeks to design and build a robot that can perform the tasks of the game. The process encourages interest in science, technology, engineering and math skills, while also teaching students how to solve problems and work together.
Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.