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For release: 02/11/02
Release #: 02-029
Get first glimpse of area high schoolers' robots Wednesday
What: Four Huntsville-area high school engineering teams sponsored by the Marshall Center and one industry-sponsored team will demonstrate robots they've designed and built for the annual engineering competition sponsored by the FIRST Foundation (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
Each year, students across the country team with engineering mentors from government, industries and universities to design, build and operate a robot, all within six weeks. The robot must compete in a sports-based game - a game that changes each year. After the practice round Wednesday, the teams will take their robots to March regional competitions, to be followed by national competitions in April.
Who: Student teams and robots from Lee High School and New Century Technology High School in Huntsville; Arab High School in Arab; and Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville, Tenn., all sponsored by the Marshall Center; and a team comprised of students from Bob Jones High School in Madison and Butler High School in Huntsville sponsored by the Chrysler Corp.
When: Wednesday, Feb.13, at 2 p.m. CDT.
Where: Intergraph Building No. 21, 470 Dunlop Blvd., Huntsville.
To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact Jerry Berg of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034.
Quick Facts about FIRST
- The FIRST Robotics Competition, an annual event that began in 1992, aims to stimulate student interest in science and engineering. More information about FIRST, the regional events and other details can be obtained on the Web at:
- The founder of FIRST is Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur who most recently unveiled his Segway Human Transporter – the first self-balancing, electric-powered human transportation machine. More information on Kamen and his inventions can be obtained on the Web at:
- This year’s “game” was unveiled Jan. 5 in Manchester, N.H., at the traditional kick off marking the start of the six-week building period before teams ship their robots to regional competitions. Each year the teams receive identical parts kits for construction of their robots. The specified set of tasks, or game competition, that the robots must perform are different each year so returning teams always have a new challenge.
- NASA and its corporate partners, as an investment in the nation’s future, are supporting about 200 high schools for this year’s competition. The NASA-sponsored teams will receive a total of about $1.5 million.
- In 2002, the competition will reach more than 20,000 students on more than 600 teams in 17 competitions. Student teams come from Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom and almost every U.S. state. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines.
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