To inspire students to do great things with science and technology.
To create a growing talent of technology-focused youth here in southeastern North Carolina
What we do:
We provide a hands-on experience in designing, building and programming robots which are then taken to regional and national competitions. During their journey, students gain practical knowledge in computer-aided design (CAD), mechanical and electrical engineering, computer science, marketing and budgeting. A large number of our students pursue a college education and career centered around STEM.
A community-based, all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization supported predominantly by local businesses and individuals.
How we began:
The successful creation and implementation of a competitive robotic program requires a great deal of dedication and support. As a result, many schools in southeastern North Carolina have been unable to implement these programs. As of 2023, not one public high school in New Hanover County offers a competitive robotics program. Port City Robotics was created in 2015 to fill this void. Our first robotics team (Wired Wizards) was created 10 years ago and is geared towards high-school aged youth. Our second team (Mechanical Mages), developed in 2018 is a Lego Robotics team focusing on students in grades 4-8. Our most recent additions are our 2nd Lego Challenge team (Dashing Dinos) and a Lego Explore team (Nuclear Nerds) for grades 2-4 ages students (developed in 2022 and 2023).
FIRST is an international robotics league with competitions for students of all ages. FIRST creates the competition themes, rules and forum. It is the “NCAA” of youth robotic competitions. FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen.
FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”.
FIRST Competitions are divided into four leagues:
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC): The largest program aimed at high-school students. The competition requires students to design, build, and program a robot capable of various feats and maneuvers. Each year, the game and competition field are re-envisioned to offer a brand new set of challenges. FRC rewards outreach, entrepreneurship, and innovative design.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a competition for students in grades 7-12 that requires teams to design, build, and program a robot according to a difficult yearly challenge. The competition rewards innovation as well as community outreach.
FIRST Lego League Challenge (FLLC) is for students aged 9-14 that motivates students to research and work on a real-world challenge, as well as design, build, and program a robot to perform varied tasks.
FIRST Lego League Explore (FLLE) is for curious minds aged 6-10 that involves building Lego robots and models to carry out a task.
Jazmin Capezza founded the Wired Wizards in 2013 as an outreach program for UNCW’s ACM chapter and an opportunity for her son and his friends to put their engineering passions to the test.
Ben Barbour founded Port City Robotics (PCR) in 2015 to provide administrative support system for the Wored Wizards and future community-based robotic teams. Ben is currently the Lead Architect and Developer for Lapetus Solutions, Inc.
Hannah Wilson created the Port City Robotics Logo . She is a Wired Wizards team alumni and past mentor, past PCR secretary and a graphic designer for Hanoona Media.