What: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will cohost a "Robots to Rocket City" event Feb. 17. The competition gives student teams an opportunity to test their tenacious technologies before going to the regional competitions of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology, or FIRST. The educational event is a collaborative effort between the Marshall Center, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Vicki Smith, Morgan County Schools' K-12 curriculum director.
FIRST strives to inspire young people to pursue careers in technical fields, through four different competitions that engage students ages 7-18. The FIRST Robotics Competition, one of the high-school-level programs, is the most demanding of these. It challenges students to build and field technically complex robots - some weighing up to 120 pounds - to tackle competitive challenges on a large game field. Students have six weeks to build and test their robots before competing in regional competitions.
NASA has awarded a five-year agreement to FIRST to provide support for hands-on robotics competition events to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives. The multi-year cooperative agreement was granted by NASA through 2014. More information about FIRST is available at:
Who: A dozen teams from across North Alabama, as well as Franklin, Tenn., and Columbus, Miss., will participate in exhibition matches during the event, including the NASA-sponsored robotic "house team," Number 442-Redstone Robotics, which is comprised of students from Lee High School and New Century High School, both of Huntsville.
When: 1:30-5 p.m., Feb. 17
Where: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville
To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact Tim Hall at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center at 256-701-0916, or Angela Storey in the Marshall Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-714-4370 no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
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