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Citadel News Service
18 Mar 2011

Students from Southeast showcase design and engineering skills

High school students design and build robots to compete
at FIRST Robotics Palmetto Regional, March 25-26

High school students from eight states will showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Palmetto Regional Competition (www.usfirst.org) hosted by The Citadel and the City of North Charleston.  Forty-seven teams of students and engineering and technical Mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, mathematics, and technology March 25-26 at the North Charleston Coliseum.  Students will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway® Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and their communities. Now in its 20th season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates close to 2,075 teams from 48 states in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to compete in 49 regional competitions. More than 1,000 students will compete at the Palmetto Regional competition to earn a spot at the championship to be held April 27-30 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.

“We’re delighted to be able to partner with the city of North Charleston and the professional technical community to bring FIRST Robotics to the Lowcountry,” said Citadel School of Engineering Dean Dennis Fallon.  “Bringing high school students together in the spirit of friendly competition is an excellent way to get young people excited about pursuing an education in a STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—field.”

This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from leading universities and colleges. Scholarship announcements will be made at the FIRST Championship in April.

Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a kit of parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students. In this year’s robotics game, LOGO MOTION™, two alliances of three teams will compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with poles, attempting to earn points by hanging as many triangle, circle, and square logo pieces as possible. Bonus points will be earned for each robot that can hang and assemble logo pieces to form the FIRST logo. Robots can also deploy Mini-Bots to climb vertical poles for a chance to earn additional points.

FIRST Robotics Competition Palmetto Regional sponsors and volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area.  Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions and volunteers.

ABOUT FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL™) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

THE COMPETITION 

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Jennifer Wallace
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