Signals AZ

Coconino High School to Host Arizona and New Mexico FIRST Tech Challenge Championship

Open to the Public and Free to Attend!

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino High School CocoNuts will host the Arizona and New Mexico FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Northern Arizona University Fieldhouse. The event will feature 48 FIRST Tech Challenge Teams that have advanced from one of 11 qualifying tournaments that took place from November through February. The top teams from this Championship will advance to the FIRST World Championship in Houston, TX April 17-20, 2019.

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The theme of the Arizona and New Mexico FIRST Tech Challenge Championship is the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing and will feature the Rover Ruckus game – bridging Flagstaff’s past Lunar Legacy with the community commitment to STEM education. All FIRST programs have a space-themed game this season in honor of the Moon Landing anniversary.

“The (Coconino High School) CocoNuts are dedicated to spreading the excitement of STEM education & FIRST Robotics all over Northern Arizona,” shared CocoNut Coach and Coconino High School teacher Christine Sapio. “We have hosted regional and state level robotics competitions, mentored numerous younger teams, presented throughout the state and competed at the regional and international levels for the past twelve years.”

The Arizona and New Mexico FIRST Tech Challenge Championship will be open to the public and is free to attend.

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 three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for high-school students, FIRST® Tech Challenge for 7th-12th graders, FIRST® LEGO® League for 9 to 14-year-olds, and FIRST® LEGO® League Junior for 6 to 9-year-olds. 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


ROVER RUCKUS℠ presented by Qualcomm® Incorporated is played on a 12 ft. x 12 ft. (3.7m x 3.7m) square field with approximately 1 ft. (0.3 m) high walls and a soft foam mat floor. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by descending from the Lander, collecting Minerals from the Crater, sorting and scoring Minerals into the Cargo Hold of the Lander, performing Autonomous tasks, and navigating to specific parts of the Playing Field. The Scoring Elements for the game are 60 Silver Minerals and 90 Gold Minerals, and a team supplied Team Marker.

There are two alliances of two robots each – “red” and “blue”. There are two alliance-neutral Craters sit in opposite corners of the Playing Field and two Alliance-specific Depots are in the other corners. Unique navigation targets are placed in the center of each field wall. In front of each corner is a Mineral Sampling Field with 2 Silver Minerals and 1 Gold Mineral, randomly lined up. Field personnel will randomize the Minerals in the Sampling Field prior to the start of the Match. The remaining Minerals are divided approximately equally and placed in each Crater.

The Lander sits in the center of the field with Alliance-specific Landing Zones marked by red and blue tape surrounding it. Prior to the start of a match, robots may be Latched onto the Lander. Robots that cannot be Latched must start in the alliance’s Landing Zone under one of the Alliance’s Lander Support Bracket. Robots may also preload a Team Marker.

Matches have two distinct periods of play: a 30-second autonomous period followed by a two-minute driver-controlled period, the last 30 seconds of the driver-controlled period is called the end game which adds new scoring opportunities for robots to achieve.


The CocoNuts Robotics Team from Coconino High School in Flagstaff, Arizona, is the first robotics team of its kind in Northern Arizona. Since its founding in 2007, the CocoNuts have been the recipients of such prestigious awards as the Inspire Award, Engineering Inspiration Award and eight-time winners of the Regional Chairman’s Award. The CocoNuts spend countless hours working in their community to spread the excitement of FIRST Robotics, mentor many of the younger FIRST teams in Flagstaff and the surrounding areas, run a summer robotics program for younger students, and host the Northern Arizona FIRST Lego League and Arizona FIRST Tech Challenge Programs. Click here for more information and to get involved. GO NUTS!


For more information on the FIRST progression of programs, click here.

Arizona & New Mexico FIRST Tech Challenge Championship

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Northern Arizona University Fieldhouse (1050 S. Knoles Dr. Flagstaff, AZ 86011)

7:00am: Pits open
7:45 am: Judging interviews begin (closed to the public)
9:45 am: Opening Ceremonies; Qualifying matches begin immediately after
12:00 pm: Lunch
12:45 pm: Qualifying matches resume
3 pm: Alliance selection
3:45 pm: Division playoffs
5:00 pm: Championship finals & Awards
6:30 pm: Estimated time for event to end
All times are estimates and are subject to change.

More information.


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