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Press Release 94-07
Mary Ann Peto
(Bus: 216/433-2902)

NASA Lewis Research Center Sponsors Students in U.S. First Competition in New Hampshire

Cleveland, OH -- Lewis employees have been working with 31 students from various Cleveland area high schools preparing for the highly competitive U.S. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) contest to be held February 24-26, 1994, in Nashua, New Hampshire. This is the first time Lewis has sponsored a team to attend this competition.

U.S. FIRST is a nonprofit alliance of business, government and education dedicated to increasing the level of student interest in math and science.

"The fun and excitement began at Lewis several weeks ago when students and engineers met to design and build a radio-controlled robo-athlete," said James Eaton, Lewis' competition coordinator. The students have been at Lewis every Tuesday and Thursday after school and on Sunday afternoons preparing for the main event in New Hampshire. "Knowing that you are competing against several teams from around the country adds another dimension to the competition and gives the students even more to strive for," he said.

In the competition, remote-controlled robo-athletes are built from a standard kit of parts. During the three-day contest, these mechanical gladiators fight to collect as many of their soccer balls as possible and score points by placing them in a goal area. At the same time, they try to fend off the opposing teams' robo-athletes which are bent on collecting more balls -- or stealing them. The competition can become fierce as the teams rely on strength, strategy and speed to outmaneuver and outfight their opponents.

Twenty-five teams participated in the 1993 competition and included teams sponsored by AT&T Bell Laboratories, Boeing, Eastman Kodak and many others. Approxi-mately 40 teams are expected to participate in the 1994 competition.

Participating High Schools:


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