Amy Johnson
757-864-7022/ 757-272-9859
Media Invited to Regional Robot Competition in Richmond
HAMPTON, Va. -- This week high school robotics teams will face off against each other in a battle of minds and machines at the Virginia Regional First Robotics Competition in Richmond.

The competition is an engineering challenge for students ages 14-18. Teams of students work closely with teachers and volunteer mentors, and have six weeks to design, build, program and test a robot to participate in a competition that changes each year.

This year teams across the country built robots to compete in the game "Breakaway." The soccer-like game consists of two alliances of three teams that compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps. The robots attempt to earn points by collecting soccer balls in the goal. Winners of regional tournaments will go on to compete in the world championships held in Atlanta, Ga., this April.

The Virginia region consists of 63 teams, many of which are from Hampton Roads including: Menchville High School in Newport News; Phoebus High School and the New Horizons Regional Education Center in Hampton; Norview High School, Lake Taylor High School and Norfolk Technical Center in Norfolk; Portsmouth high schools and Nansemond River High School in Suffolk.

WHAT: FIRST Robotics Virginia Regional Tournament
WHEN: March 18-20
WHERE: VCU Siegel Center at 1200 W. Broad Street, Richmond, Va.

Businesses around Hampton Roads sponsor and mentor the teams. The New Horizon NASA Knights have competed for the past 13 years with the help of NASA's Langley Research Center.

Since 1991 FIRST Robotics has encouraged young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

For more information about the FIRST Robotics Virginia tournament, visit:

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