Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711

NASA Presents Crazy Robots and Students Who Build Them
HAMPTON, Va. -- Sophisticated robots competing against each other in an athletic tournament sounds like a television cartoon, but it is real life learning in science and technology.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., presents "Crazy Robots and the Students Who Build Them." Students and mentors from the NASA Knights will talk about their experiences in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. The NASA Knights will display their 2009 robot, show a video and discuss their previous competitions.

Media who wish to interview members of the NASA Knights at a news briefing at 1:15 p.m., Tuesday should contact Chris Rink at 864-6786 or by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to NASA Langley.

On Tuesday evening, the NASA Knights students and mentors will present a similar talk for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The evening presentation is free and no reservations are required.

Since 1992 FIRST has sponsored annual robotics competitions where teams have six weeks to design and build a robot to compete in a new game each year. Regional events begin in late February, culminating with the International Championships in April.

NASA Knights team members come from various local public, private and home high schools, and meet at New Horizons Regional Education Centers in Hampton. To support the NASA Knights, as well as robotics, electronics and fiber optics classes, New Horizons has built a new robotics facility. NASA Langley and New Horizons are the team's main sponsors.

The NASA Knights robotics team has been participating in the FIRST robotics competition since 1997. Over the years the team has won several regional championships and many awards including multiple Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship Awards, the General Motors Industrial Design Award, the Leadership in Control Award and Delphi's Driving Tomorrow's Technology Award.

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