News Releases

Angela Storey
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville Ala.

Several Area High Schools Competing in 2012 First Robotics Competition; Kickoff Event to Be Held Jan. 7
What: At a Jan. 7 kickoff event, 12 high school student teams from across Alabama and Tennessee will find out what challenging new game goal is in store for them for the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition.

The national organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, strives to inspire young people to pursue careers in technical fields, through four different competitions that engage students ages 7-18. The FIRST Robotics Competition, one of the high-school-level programs, is the most demanding of these. It challenges students to build and field technically complex robots -- some weighing up to 120 pounds -- to tackle competitive challenges on a large game field. Students have six weeks to build and test their robots.

Each year's FIRST Robotics Competition includes a new game goal, which will be announced at the kickoff event. Teams also will pick up their kit of parts to build their robots.

NASA has entered into a five-year cooperative agreement with FIRST to provide support for hands-on robotics competition events to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives.

The FIRST competition was created in 1992 by inventor Dean Kamen of Bedford, N.H. More information about FIRST is available at:

Who: Eight returning teams and three rookie teams comprised of students from the following schools will take part in this year's competition: Limestone County Career Technical Center in Athens, Ala.; Lee High School, New Century High School, Columbia High School and Virgil I. Grissom High School, all of Huntsville; Arab High School in Arab, Ala.; Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville, Tenn.; Walker County Center of Technology in Jasper, Ala.; Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala.; Oxford High School in Oxford, Ala.; Section High School in Dutton, Ala.; and Wenonah High School, both in Birmingham, Ala. Students from several different schools in Morgan County, Ala., also will compete as one team, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama in Hueytown, Ala.

When: 9-11 a.m. CST, Jan. 7

Where: Calhoun Community College, Decatur Campus
6250 Highway 31 North, Tanner, Ala.

To attend: News media interested in covering the events should contact Angela Storey at 256-714-4370 no later than 4 p.m. Jan. 6.

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