Students trade in their pencils and books for gears and wires at the FIRST Robotics Competition Virginia Regional, which brings together hundreds of robotics groups to create fully functional automatons. High-school students from four states compete for the top prize in a basketball game called Rebound Rumble with 120-pound robots they designed and built from scratch. Aside from watching and cheering from the sidelines, fans also can check out Technology Row, where some of Virginia’s leading technology companies will showcase their work, and learn about FIRST’s innovative programs for students. The competition will be held March 16-17 at VCU’s Siegel Center. Free. virginiafirst.org.