In 2003 a group of CEO’s in SC, led by Harry Lightsey, President of BellSouth, the University Of SC School Of Engineering and the SC Department of Education were granted the opportunity by the FIRST Foundation to host a regional robotic competition in the spring of 2004. Thus, began the Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotic Competition in SC. The purpose of the regional is to give students the opportunity to develop teams to build robots that compete in games designed by the FIRST Foundation and put into practice skills and knowledge learned.
In order to plan for and implement each Palmetto Regional, two different committees working with one objective in mind were formed. The first, the fundraising arm, was the Palmetto Partners. The Palmetto Partners is a group of business and educational leaders from throughout SC. The primary goal of Palmetto Partners is to focus on inspirational education that gives students the opportunity to obtain skills and knowledge to prepare for an advanced-technology based careers in South Carolina. The improved workforce in this area will improve the economic outlook for South Carolina. Palmetto Partners for Science and technology is exclusively charitable and educationally scientific. A non-profit organization that is a 501(c)(3) that was formed in 2004 and operates exclusively to encourage and promote the educational and career pursuit of science and technology.
The second committee, often referred to as the “operational committee” is the Palmetto Regional Planning Committee (PRPC). The PRPC is comprised of representatives primarily from the local area that the Regional is being held in. For 2016, the Palmetto Regional Robotics Competition will return to Myrtle Beach, SC, for the fourth year. Late in 2015, the PRPC reconvened and began the planning for the 2015 Regional. Over the past four months the PRPC has been vigorously engaged in the planning for and preparation for each competing teams arrival. The 2015 Palmetto Regional will be hosting 67 teams from 9 states and Canada. The PRPC would like to welcome each team to the 2016 Palmetto Regional Robotics Competition and hope that your visit to the Myrtle Beach “Grand Strand” area will be enjoyable.