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NASA Supports Chesapeake Regional First Robotics Competition
More than 60 high school teams from 12 states including Maryland and D.C., as well as from Great Britain, will participate in the Chesapeake Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, to be held March 16-18.

This free three-day event will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy's Halsey Field House in Annapolis, Md. and is open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday is a designated practice day and competition rounds will take place all day Friday and Saturday.

More than 4,500 FIRST participants are expected to attend the events Including students, teachers, college and corporate engineering mentors, community volunteers and judges. Other expected visitors include Maryland's Secretary of State, Mary D. Kane. The goal is to use robots constructed from a prepared kit to take part in competitive game strategies. The six-week collaboration began in January. FIRST competitions are high-tech sporting events that produce excitement and energy for participants and spectators alike, as teams compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, sportsmanship, teamwork and more.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. is a major supporter for the Chesapeake Regional Competition, which is in its fifth year and endorsed by the state of Maryland. NASA supports FIRST in order to inspire the next generation of explorers.

Teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration and partnerships and the spirit and determination of students. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. There will be a regional competition each weekend leading up to the championship to be held April 27-29, inside the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta, Ga.

Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and their communities. Based in Manchester, N.H., the non-profit organization designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue academic opportunities.

Media interested in covering this event should contact Amy Pruett in advance at 301-286-7646.

For more information about the Chesapeake Regional FIRST Robotics Competition or FIRST visit:

Amy Pruett / Michelle Jones
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center