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Students and Robots Take to the Courts in Competition
2012 FIRST robotics competition Student-controlled robots compete at the FIRST Robotics Competition by shooting foam basketballs into hoops. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech › Larger view       › Image gallery       › Related video

2012 FIRST Robotics - Long Beach Students inspect and prepare their robot for competition. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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2012 FIRST Robotics - Long Beach A team sporting orange, fuzzy hats is seen here controlling their robot in the midst of a match. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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If you had chosen Cimarron Memorial High School, Orcutt Academy High School and Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy as your top picks in this past weekend's "Robotics March Madness Bracket," you would have been right.

The 21st season of the Los Angeles regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, held at the Long Beach Convention Center on March 16 and 17, proved to be a true battle of the minds. Sixty-six high school teams from California, Nevada, Brazil and Chile battled on the courts with their student-designed robots for the title of Regional Champions.

The students from Cimarron Memorial High School, Las Vegas, Nev.; Orcutt Academy High School, Orcutt, Calif.; and Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta, Calif., won the overall regional competition. Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles, won the coveted Regional Chairman's award, and Centinela Valley Union High School District, Hawthorne, Calif., took home the Engineering Inspiration award.

The winners from this competition will represent the Southern California region at the FIRST championships April 25 to 29 in St. Louis, against 51,000 other students on more than 2,400 teams.

The FIRST program was founded two decades ago in an effort to encourage students to pursue careers in science and technology through robotics competitions and with the help of engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; aerospace and other companies and institutions of higher education. FIRST continues to grow and continues to inspire.

For more information, visit: http://www.usfirst.org/ .
Priscilla Vega (818) 354-1357
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.