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03-001
For Release: January 2, 2003

Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office
216/433-2037
Sally.V.Harrington@nasa.gov


Note To Editors/News Directors:

LOCAL STUDENTS FIND OUT THE 2003 ROBOTICS COMPETITION CHALLENGE

Excitement is mounting for high school students in Cleveland and throughout Ohio, as well as students in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, who will be competing in the second annual FIRST Buckeye Regional robotics competition in March.

On January 4, 2003, veteran and rookie teams alike will gather at Cuyahoga Community College's Unified Technologies Center at 2415 Woodland Avenue in Cleveland for the 2003 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff being simulcast on NASA Television from the event in Manchester, N.H.-the home of FIRST-between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. EST to learn what they have been anxiously awaiting-the game, the rules, and the scoring for this year's FIRST Robotics Competition.

Media representatives are invited to join the teams at the kickoff. The highlights will be a message from Dean Kamen, who founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) with the goal of getting students interested in science and technology, and the grand finale when this season's challenge is revealed.

This event will be the beginning of an engineering journey. The first stop for these teams will be the Buckeye Regional at the Cleveland Convocation Center on March 6-8, 2003, sponsored by NASA's Glenn Research Center in cooperation with corporations, educational institutions and organizations throughout the Greater Cleveland area. The Buckeye Regional is one of several regionals being held across the country. The ultimate goal of the teams is to participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in Houston in April.

Having learned about this year's game and upon receiving a kit of parts, that is identical to those received by every team in the competition, the students will spend the following six weeks researching, developing, assembling, and testing a championship robot. Working side-by-side with professional engineers and technicians from their sponsoring corporations, colleges, and government agencies, the teams will get a glimpse of what engineering is all about. This unique hands-on experience provides an opportunity for the students to gain knowledge of leadership, time management, task sequencing, physics, computers, and teamwork.

A list of the teams that will be competing in the FIRST Buckeye Regional Robotics Competition and further information about the event can be found at http://www.firstbuckeye.org

For additional information about FIRST, go to http://www.usfirst.org

NASA TV will broadcast the 2003 FIRST Robotics Kickoff event from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 4, 2003. To access NASA television via satellite, the coordinates are GE-2, transponder 9C, C-band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 38880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.

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