Newton High School's RaileRobotics Team 935 is about to start its competition season.

Newton has competed in FIRST Robotics since 2002, qualfying for the national tournament five times. One year ago the team attended two regional tournaments in Kansas City winning Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi at the Greater Kansas City Regional. This year the team plans to compete in The Heartland Regional March 13 through 16 in Topeka.

Currently there are 36 teams registered for the regional. Teams from Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin , Mexico and China are all on the list to compete. 

The rules of the game played by teams changes each year, with a new theme and new goals. The rules ofr the 2019 game have not been announced — teams will have a little over one month to learn the game rules  and design and build a robot to compete. This year the end of build season is set for Feb. 19. Competitions are set to begin Feb. 27.

During compeition, teams compete in alliances of three teams. During qualifying rounds, alliances are created by computer pairings. For the finals, alliances are selected by the top scoring teams to qualify for the final rounds. 

What is known for the 2019 game is the theme - FIRST released a teaser video giving this year's competition a name — "Destination Deep Space."

The team will learn the rules of the game during a reveal party at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 5 in the Newton High School lecture hall. The public is invited to attend the reveal party.