Feb. 23, 1999
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
Phone: 650/604-5026 or 650/604-9000
NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to the Western Regional Robot Games for students February 25 to 27, 1999, to be held in historic Hangar 1, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Students and their advisors will be available for interviews immediately following each robot competition. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101, drive east to the main gate at Moffett Federal Airfield and report to the Visitor Badging Office for vehicle passes and directions to Hangar 1. Media representatives must present valid press credentials to be admitted onto Ames property.
Student-made robots will "clash" in a western regional competition to be held Feb. 25 to 27, 1999 at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
Organizers say that the "robot games" will attract participants from at least 27 high schools in California, Arizona and Texas. During the competition, robots will "battle" for two-minute rounds in an arena setting.
"In the next two decades, NASA will engage in bold new missions of exploration of our star system with robots," said Mark Leon, NASA's manager of the competition at Ames. "In order to accomplish these robotic missions, we will need talented people to build the next generation of robots; that fact, plus NASA's dedication to education, is our motivation for helping students to participate in this competition."
NASA is working cooperatively with a non-profit group called "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," FIRST, of Manchester, NH, which organizes the contests. Each year, the group develops the competition by supplying "a problem" and a kit of parts to teams of students.
Students and their advisors designed and constructed remote-control robots in six weeks using identical kits of material. Advisors are often professional engineers from private industry, government and universities. Regional finals will be held at seven locations across the country, including NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Winners may compete at the national finals in April at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center, Orlando, FL.
By visiting the Ames Learning Technology Project website at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/firstrobots, students and educators can learn about the robotic contests.
The FIRST website at: http://www.usfirst.org lists more information about the other regional contests. They will be held Kennedy Space Center, FL; William Rainey Harper College, Chicago, IL; Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; Meadows Music Theater, Hartford, CT; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; and Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI.
Organizers say the overall goal of the robot competition is to allow students to interact with engineers so that the young people can see the connection between classroom instruction and the real world. Hopefully, this will inspire more students to become engineers.
"The competition truly is a fine, creative example of what can be done to excite the next generation about science and technology and motivate young Americans to the pursuit of scientific and technological excellence," said President Clinton.
FIRST was started in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to persuade American youth that engineering and technology are exciting fields. The annual robotics competition is patterned after Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Woodie Flowers' engineering design course.
Schedule (all times are PST):
Thursday, Feb. 25 - Media representatives are invited to cover the uncrating of robots 9 a.m. to noon, PST, and to observe practice rounds from noon to 5 p.m, PST.
Friday, Feb. 26 - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST, competition and other activities.
Saturday, Feb. 27 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., PST, competition and other activities.
The first 3,000 persons to come to the Ames main gate will be admitted to view the games on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no charge for admission, but everybody 16 years or older must have picture identification or they will be refused entrance. Concessions will be available.
Bay Area schools to participate in the Robot games include: Broadway, Foothill, Lincoln, Willow Glen High Schools and Foundry/Broadway in San Jose, CA; Palo Alto and Gunn High Schools in Palo Alto, CA; Aptos High School, Aptos, CA; Brandeis Hillel Day School, San Rafael, CA; Foothill High School, Pleasanton, CA; Los Altos High School, Los Altos, CA; Mills High School, Millbrae, CA; Monte Vista High School, Cupertino, CA; and Vintage High School, Napa, CA.
For Broadcasters-- (All satellite broadcast times below are Eastern Standard Time.)
Video file news feeds for Friday, Feb. 26, 1999:
Video Advisory v99-038
VIDEO FILE FOR FEB. 26, 1999
ITEM 1. X-34 ARRIVES AT DRYDEN FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER FOR
ITEM 2. NASA/FIRST WESTERN ROBOTICS COMPETITION FINALS
ITEM 3. ROBOTIC ROVER, SPACESUITED GEOLOGIST WORK TOGETHER IN
TEST OF FUTURE EXPLORATION (replay)
ITEM 4. WIDE-FIELD INFRARED EXPLORER (WIRE) TO STUDY
STARBURST GALAXIES (replay)
ITEM 2. NASA/NASA AMES TO HOST WESTERN REGIONAL ROBOT GAMES
Note: Local Angles in California, Arizona, and Texas Student-made robots will "clash" in a western regional competition today and tomorrow at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. The "robot games" will attract participants from at least 27 high schools in California, Arizona and Texas. During the competition, robots will "battle" for two-minute rounds in an arena setting. The overall goal of the robot competition is to allow students to interact with engineers so that the young people can see the connection between classroom instruction and the real world. The ultimate goal is to inspire more students to become engineers.
Contact at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA:
John Bluck 650/604-5026.
The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Ray Castillo 202/358-4555
NASA TV satellite feed schedule:
February 27, 1999 - Saturday:
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, EST - NASA/1st Western Robotics Competition Finals- Ames
1:00 p.m . - 4:00 p.m. - EST -NASA/1st Western Robotics Competition Finals - Ames.
NASA Television (NTV) is a resource designed to provide real-time coverage of Agency activities and missions as well as providing resource video to the news media, and educational programming to teachers, students and the general public.
NTV is broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9C, C-Band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.
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