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04-001
For Release: January 9, 2004

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office
216-433-5795
sallie.a.keith@nasa.gov

LOCAL STUDENTS RECEIVE FIRST IMPRESSION AS ROBOTICS COMPETITION KICKS OFF

Excitement is mounting for high school students who have their sights set on competing in the third annual FIRST ( For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Buckeye Regional Robotics Competition. Veteran and rookie teams such as East Technical High School, Max S. Hayes Vocational and Beachwood High School will gather on Saturday, January 10, at the Cuyahoga Community College's Unified Technologies Center at 2415 Woodland Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for the kickoff workshop.

During the event, the details of this year's competition rules, goals and playing field will be revealed to students as NASA TV simulcasts the national kickoff event from FIRST's headquarters in Manchester, NH from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Those unable to attend the event can view the kickoff via NASA Web cast or broadcast.

The Web cast will be available at http://robotics.nasa.gov/events/webcasts/kickoff.htm. NASA TV is broadcast on AMC-9, 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.

Following the broadcast, students will also be able to participate in an open forum allowing them to plan, strategize and ask questions of veterans and volunteers.

Having learned about this year's challenge and received their kit of parts, students and their advisors will have six weeks to research, design, construct and test their championship robot. Working side by side with professional engineers and technicians the teams will get a glimpse of what engineering is all about. This unique hands-on experience provides an opportunity for students to gain knowledge of leadership, time management, task sequencing, physics, computers and teamwork.

NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, awarded scholarships to 11 high school teams to compete in the robotics competition. The scholarships covered the $5,000 entry fee to compete in the third annual FIRST Buckeye Regional competition. The 2004 FIRST Buckeye Regional, sponsored by Glenn and various local corporate and academic organizations, will take place March 25-27 at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center.

A list of the teams from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Canada who will be competing in the FIRST Buckeye Regional Robotics Competition and more information on the event can be found at http://www.firstbuckeye.org

FIRST is a nonprofit organization founded to interest and inspire students in mathematics, science and technology. FIRST represents a cooperative effort among students, teachers, communities, corporations and government agencies. For additional information about FIRST, go to http://www.usfirst.org

For more information about other NASA education programs on the Internet, visit http://education.nasa.gov

Note to Editors/News Directors:

Media representatives are invited to attend the start of this exciting engineering journey. By meeting some of the teams involved in the competition as they begin their planning you can follow the progress students make through construction and competition.

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