Saturday, January 5, 2008

First Robitics Competition

It may be a not-for-profit organization, but it employs the old capitalist principal, helping yourself in the process of helping others. Dean Kamen may not be in this to make a bunch of money, but compensation isn't always money. Kamen would like to see more young people get involved in science and technology. To do so, he had to create a fun way to make it happen. The participants aren't necessarily after the monetary compensation either. After all, most of them will lose. It's fun, it's competitive, it's challenging, it's entertaining. The sponsors get to be associated with the excitement of learning, competition, new discovery, while at the same time generating goodwill among a pool of potential employees and partners. Everyone walks away with more value than they came in with. That's Capitalism. Here's the story:

Life-changing program inspires young people to pursue
opportunities in science and technology

Over 37,500 High-school Students to Compete in 41 Regional Events
MANCHESTER, N.H.--(Business Wire)--FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
launched its seventeenth FIRST Robotics Competition season today with
a Kickoff at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, NH,
hometown and headquarters of FIRST. The FIRST Robotics Competition is
an annual competition that helps students discover the rewards and
excitement of science, engineering, and technology. Over 37,500
high-school students on more than 1,500 teams from Brazil, Canada,
Chile, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K., and every state in
the U.S. are participating in this year's competition.

At the Kickoff, all teams were shown this year's game field for
the first time and received a common kit of parts made up of motors,
batteries, a control system, and a mix of automation components - but
no instructions. Working with mentors, students now have just six
weeks to design, build, and test their robots to meet the season's
engineering challenge. 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 game, "FIRST Overdrive," students' robots are
designed to race around a track knocking down 40" inflated Trackballs
and moving them around the track, passing them either over or under a
6'6" overpass. Extra points are scored by robots positioning the
Trackballs back on the overpass before the end of the 2 minute and 15
second match.

Teams across the nation and in Brazil, Canada, and Israel watched
the Manchester Kickoff proceedings via NASA TV broadcast or Web cast
from 49 local kickoff sites, many of which also offered workshops and
a chance to meet other teams. The Kickoff agenda included
presentations by FIRST founder Dean Kamen; New Hampshire Governor John
Lynch; FIRST advisor Dr. Woodie Flowers; FIRST chairman John Abele;
FIRST president Paul Gudonis; and NASA program executive Dave Lavery.

In 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition began with 28 teams and a
single 14 x 14 foot playing field in a New Hampshire high school gym.
This season, more than 1,500 teams - including a record 316 rookie
teams - will participate. Forty-one regional competitions will lead up
to the 2008 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April

Since its beginning, FIRST has had a positive impact on students
and academic communities. Research has shown that FIRST has
significantly improved students' attitudes about math and science and
has fostered a culture of teamwork, leadership, and self-confidence.
FRC participants are eligible to apply for over $9.5 million in
scholarships from leading universities, colleges, and companies. In
addition, interest in internship and employment opportunities with
sponsoring companies has increased.

To find FIRST Robotics Competition events and teams in your area,
visit and click on the map in the top right corner.


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 the support of many of the world's most well-known
companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics
Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, the
FIRST LEGO(R) League for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST
LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to

Marian Murphy, 603-666-3906 ext. 409

Copyright Business Wire 2008

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