Manchester, NH ‚â€“ FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people‚â€™s interest and participation in science and technology, today officially launched its 2008 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) season with an online Kickoff event unveiling this year‚â€™s game, ‚â€œFIRST Face Off!‚â€
Ten thousand high-school-aged young people are expected to participate in this year‚â€™s competition, in which robots will navigate a variety of surfaces to place hockey pucks into a center scoring area. Extra points are scored by knocking pucks off racks and getting the robot off of the field at the end of the match. The fast-paced matches include a thirty-second autonomous period followed by two
minutes of driver-controlled play.
‚â€œFIRST Face Off!‚â€ was developed with the input of professional robotics designers across the country to mirror challenges they face today, such as navigating uneven surfaces, manipulating odd-shaped objects, using sensors to determine the environment, and withstanding physical stress. The new FTC competition kit is a complete robotics platform designed to provide students with the latest technology
scientists and engineers use in real-world applications. It consists of an expanded TETRIX‚Â® metal robot structure kit, LEGO‚Â® MINDSTORMS‚Â® NXT robotics kit, DC drive motors, servomotors, controllers, and advanced sensors. It also includes three software platforms teams can choose to program their robots, including LEGO NXTG, National Instruments LabViewTM for FTC, and RobotC.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is an intermediate robotics competition designed for high-school-aged students. Teams of up to ten students work alongside mentors, applying real-world math and science concepts to solve the annual challenge. They compete and cooperate in team alliances at high energy regional tournaments that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students. Through their FIRST involvement, students discover the rewarding and engaging process of innovation and engineering.
Research has shown that the FIRST Tech Challenge effectively engages students from various backgrounds, instilling new ideas and concepts in more experienced students, while helping to inspire, motivate, and encourage learning basic principles and skills among students with less experience. Through their FIRST involvement, students also learn about important, life-long skills such as planning, research, collaboration, mentorship, and teamwork. FTC participants are eligible to apply for over $7 million in scholarship funds from some of the finest science and engineering schools in the country.
During the 2008 season, approximately 1,000 FIRST Tech Challenge teams will compete in events in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, culminating at the FIRST Championship, April 16-18, 2009 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
Filed Under: Student programs
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