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Rachel Prucey
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

March 12, 2008
NASA Ames and Girl Scouts Make Building Robots 'A Piece of Cake'
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- Sugar and spice and everything nice – that’s what robots are made of.

“Space Cookies” – a team of 20 exuberant and highly motivated Bay Area high school girls, is eager to compete in this year’s 16th annual For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition. Later this week, they will compete against 48 other teams gearing up for the Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) at San Jose State University, one of which is the Space Cookies’ mentor team, the "Cheesy Poofs," from Bellarmine Preparatory School, San Jose, Calif., which has won eight of the last nine SVRs.

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and the Girl Scouts of Northern California have teamed up to sponsor the Space Cookies, who already have won three awards in 2006, including the San Jose Rookie All-Star, the San Jose Highest Rookie Seed and a special Judge's Award. This year, the Space Cookies have high hopes and are proud of the robot they built together and plan to be back to compete next year.

"This is an incredible group of girls who bring a unique and refreshingly different approach to complete the challenge of building a competition class robot," said Wendy Holforty, an Ames aerospace engineer and team project manager. "It's great to watch them design, machine, drill, wire, and build, all while giggling and debating over what to wear to the competition."

Each year, FIRST Robotics develops a robotics challenge and teams are given six-weeks to design and construct a robot from parts provided in identical kits to meet that challenge. This year, the Space Cookies received a kit spilling over with a variety of belts, sprockets, chains, gearboxes and motors to build a robot capable of racing around a 54-foot track.

WHAT: An opportunity to witness the all-girl NASA Ames Girl Scouts of Northern California team, Space Cookies, and the Cheesy Poofs, compete in the 16th annual FIRST Robotics Competition.

WHEN: March 13 to 15, 2008:
- 7:45 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. PDT, March 13: Registration, inspection, practice rounds
- 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PDT, March 14: First rounds, awards ceremony
- 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PDT, March 15: Second rounds, final rounds, awards ceremony

WHERE: San Jose State University, One Washington Square, 290 South 7th Street, San Jose, Calif.

For information about the NASA's Robotics Alliance Project, visit:

For information about FIRST Robotics and regional competition dates and locations, visit:

For more information about the Girl Scouts of Northern California, visit:

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