Teams from across the region, and several neighboring states, will compete in Rockford on Saturday for the 5th Annual Rock River Off-Season Competition (R2OC) at Rock Valley College.
It showcases some of the region’s brightest high school students in robotics, a sport that is growing in popularity across the Midwest.
Nick Povalitis is an organizer for this year's event. He says Rockford has a strong base for robotics.
"Some of these robotics teams have been in the Rockford area for twenty years," Povalitis said. "The diversity and opportunity within sports has changed quite a bit and it's no longer just baseball, basketball, or softball. So there is room for participation for kids who may not be interested in that traditional ball sport."
R2OC also plans to launch a scholarship program for participating students.
"For the first time in the event's history, we've got enough sponsorship support and enough good financial stewards on the board that have positioned R2OC in a way that we can give back now," Povalitis said.
The group plans to award four scholarships worth $1,000 each.