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For release: 01/30/04
Release #: 04-022

Local high schools to showcase robots competing in national challenge

Tomorrow, eight Huntsville-area high school engineering teams will give news media a sneak preview of the robots they have built and designed for “Frenzy,” this year’s annual robotics showdown hosted by the national organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Huntsville-based student teams are sponsored by Marshall and by local industry. Regional FIRST competitions start March 3; the championship event kicks off April 15 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.


What: On Feb. 19, eight Huntsville-area high school engineering teams will give news media a sneak preview of the robots they have built and designed for “Frenzy,” this year's annual robotics showdown hosted by the national organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Huntsville-based student teams are sponsored by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and by local industry. Regional FIRST competitions start March 3; the championship event kicks off April 15 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta .

Each spring, students from across the country and around the world -- mentored by government, academic and industry engineers -- design, build and operate robots for the sports-based competition, which is different every year. Founded in 1992 by inventor Dean Kamen , the goal of FIRST is for students to gain experience solving engineering challenges in a competitive environment. More than 20,000 students and 900 student teams are expected to participate in the 2004 competition, including 197 teams sponsored by NASA. For more information about FIRST and the robotics competition, visit:

http://www.usfirst.org/

Who: Students and their robots from New Century Technology High School and Madison County Career Academy in Huntsville; Guntersville High School in Guntersville, Ala.; and Austin High School from Decatur, Ala., all sponsored by the Marshall Center. Also participating are Lee High School and Butler High School in Huntsville; Arab High School in Arab, Ala.; and Lincoln Country High School in Fayetteville, Tenn.

When: Thursday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m.

Where: Olin B. King Technology Hall, Technology Drive
University of Alabama in Huntsville campus

PLEASE NOTE: The media are asked to enter from the west side of the building using the yellow access ramp and high-bay door. A parking area will be roped off.

To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034.

For supporting materials for this news release — such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more — please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at:

www.msfc.nasa.gov/news

For more information:
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