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Robin Croft
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Jan. 2, 2008
NASA Will Broadcast 2008 Robotics Competition Kickoff Live
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - A NASA-televised kickoff of the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) international student robot design competition will take place on Saturday, Jan. 5, at 10 a.m. EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. The six-week robot design and build contest includes 1,500 teams that comprise 37,000 high school students worldwide.

During the live, digital broadcast on NASA Television, New Hampshire inventor and founder of FIRST, Dean Kamen, will reveal the new game and competition scenario for 2008. The event also will be streamed live on the NASA Robotics Alliance Project (RAP) Web site at

Each year, FIRST presents a competition scenario with new twists and nuances to challenge rookie and veteran teams. The only restrictions being a robot’s dimensions and weight and using identical parts kits, teams have a strict six-week deadline to analyze the scenario and construct a robot that best meets the challenge criteria.

As in past years, NASA is playing a significant role in providing public access to robotics in order to encourage enthusiasm for the sciences and engineering in young people. Through the NASA Robotics Alliance Project at the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., NASA sponsors six regional student competitions and provides support for 189 teams.

Kamen launched FIRST in 1989 to persuade American youth that engineering and technology are exciting fields. The annual robotics competition is patterned after the engineering design course that FIRST robotics competition co-founder, Woodie Flowers, teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. NASA participation in the FIRST program is provided through the NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate, Washington and is directed by Dave Lavery.

NASA TV’s Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. For additional information go to:

A complete list of the regional events, corporate sponsors and other details are included on the FIRST website at:

More information on the NASA's Robotics Education Project visit:

For NASA sponsored regional events and teams visit:

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