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April 30, 2010

Rebecca Strecker, NASA News Chief
NASA Public Affairs Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-3249

Area Teams Compete in National FIRST Robotics Tournament

Four Mississippi and Louisiana teams competed in the season-ending 2010 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships held April 15-17, 2010 in Atlanta.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden attended and spoke at the event. Area teams competing at the event included: Pearl River County Robotic from Picayune; Horn Lake High School from Horn Lake; Northshore High School from Slidell, La.; and Mandeville High School from Mandeville, La. The Pearl River team received "Finalist" honors for battling their way to the finals of their division.

The FIRST competition is designed to encourage students to pursue engineering and technology careers. High school teams are given six weeks to build robots that can perform assigned tasks. They then compete in regional events across the country to earn a chance to go to the championship tournament.

NASA and the John C. Stennis Space Center are strong supporters of FIRST Robotics and the annual Bayou Regional competition in New Orleans through direct monetary support and the work of judges, volunteers and team mentors. Stennis Education Office Director Katie Wallace offered thanks to "everyone who helped schools and their communities throughout the robotics season."

Stennis mentors for the 2010 season were: James Cluff, Bo Clarke, Brennan Sanders, Wendy Holladay, David Lorance, Karma Snyder, Scott Olive, Mak Kersanac, Jim Barnett, Allen Forsman, Tim Raborn, Jing Zhou, Jack Higgs, Greg Eisman, Dale Bibee, Billy Wood, Mark Mitchell, David Lalejini, Ed Bunol, Dean Noel, Billy Smith, Donald Balch and Katie Wallace.

Stennis judges were: Christine Powell, Ben Powell and Dawn Davis.

Stennis volunteers/staff members were: Tony Goretski, Keith Fulton, Randall Hicks, Barbara Marino, Ken Christian, Cheryl Guilbeau, Diana Nunez, Sherrill Reynolds, Chris Smith, Nancy Bordelon, Steve Culivan, Rex Cooksey, Jack Allen, Jennifer Melton, Perry Schmidt, Billy Stewart, Dale Green, Glen Beech and Kevin Jurich.

For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/.

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