NASA News

Jeannette P. Owens
Media Relations Office
216-433-2990
Jeannette.P.Owens@nasa.gov
March 15, 2010
 
RELEASE : 10-014
 
 
Teens Showcase Design and Engineering Skills at FIRST Robotics Competition
 
 
CLEVELAND -- More than 1,500 high school students from Ohio, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will compete in the ninth annual FIRST Buckeye Regional Robotics Competition for regional awards and an opportunity to advance to the FIRST Championship competition.

This year's event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 25-27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center. Thursday is a designated practice day with qualifying rounds taking place all day Friday and Saturday morning. Final rounds begin Saturday afternoon. Admission is free and open to the public throughout the competition.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) combines extreme sports with engineering and technology to inspire young people's interest and participation in science, technology and engineering.

The competition challenges high school students, while working with professional mentors, to design and build a competitive robot that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration and the determination of students.

This year, 60 teams will face off in a new robotics game called "Breakaway" which includes two groups of three teams competing on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals. Additional bonus points will be earned for each robot suspended in air and not touching the field at the end of the match.

For a complete listing of the 60 teams, visit: http://www.oai.org/firstbuckeye/teams.htm.

Since mid-January, student teams, along with their teachers and mentors, have worked with an identical kit of parts, but no instructions, to design, build, program and test their robots to meet this season's engineering challenge. Participating in the competition gives students a glimpse of what engineering is all about and provides them the opportunity to gain experience in teamwork, time management and problem solving.

The Buckeye Regional is sponsored by NASA's Glenn Research Center along with corporations and academic and nonprofit organizations throughout Ohio. It is one of 43 regional competitions across the United States, Canada and Israel that lead up to the 2010 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 15-17.

FIRST is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities. Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.

NASA's support of FIRST is one way the agency is engaging students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, disciplines critical to NASA's space exploration missions. For more information about FIRST and NASA's other education programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/programs/descriptions/FIRST_Robotics.html



For event details and photos from previous FIRST Buckeye Regional Robotics Competitions, visit:

http://www.oai.org/firstbuckeye/



To view "Breakaway" game animation, visit:

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=16209



 

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