Prep Robotics Teams Unveil their 2011 Creations
Robotics teams from Lancaster and Tehachapi high schools unveiled and demonstrated the capabilities of their electro-mechanical inventions for the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition before family, friends and community leaders recently during ceremonies at their respective schools.
Image right: Theresa Bastian of the Lancaster High Eagle Robotics team unveils "James Bot," the team's creation for the 2011 FIRST robotics competition, during rollout ceremonies Feb. 18. (NASA photos / Tom Tschida
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's Office of Education, along with several other business and community groups, co-sponsors the Lancaster High School Eagle Robotics, the Tehachapi High School Cyber Penguins and also provides support to Antelope Valley High School's Robolopes team.
All three area teams are scheduled to participate in regional competitions March 10-12 in San Diego. The Lancaster and Antelope Valley teams are also slated to compete March 24-26 in Long Beach, while Tehachapi High's team will be participating in the Las Vegas contest March 31-April 2.
The regional contests involving the local teams are among 45 regional and four international competitions leading up to the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis on April 27-30, the final and largest event of the annual competition.
Images right: Tehachapi High student Andy Miller, son of Dryden engineer and team mentor Chris Miller, shows off some of the features of the Tehachapi Cyber Penguins robot designed for the 2011 FIRST robotics competition during the team's rollout event Feb. 19. The team's Cyber Penguin mascot found an appropriate spot to lounge during the rollout.
FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities. The robotics program was developed to inspire curiosity and create interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among high school students. The competitions give students the opportunity to design, build, test and compete a robot that can perform specific functions. FIRST also gives students a crucial mentoring experience with NASA and other technical professionals, who help them explore solutions to robotics problems and understand real-world challenges faced by engineers and researchers.
NASA Dryden also supports several other teams in the separate FIRST Tech Challenge and Lego League competitions.
Lancaster High Eagle Robotics team's 2011 FIRST competition robot, "James Bot," shows its stuff at its rollout ceremony at the school Feb. 18. The robot neatly hangs the last of three inflated shapes on elevated pegs to form the triangle, circle and square logo of the FIRST organization, one of the tasks the robots entered in the 2011 FIRST robotics competition will have to complete.
NASA photos by Tom Tschida and Tony Landis