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Kansas City Area Teens to Showcase Design, Engineering Skills in FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Championship

Competition takes place March 2-3 at Hale Arena

Release Date: 02/27/2012

Kansas City (February 27, 2012) – High school students from metro Kansas City schools and across the Midwest will see their intense work designing and building an original robot culminate March 2-3 at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Regional Championship at Hale Arena.

The regional tournament, one of the largest annual robotics tournaments in the Midwest, will feature 64 teams of students along with engineering and technical mentors who have come together to demonstrate their science, mathematics and technology skills. The robotics competition is free and open to the public, who is invited to attend and watch the various teams compete on the field with their robots.

In this year’s robotics game, “Rebound Rumble,” each match features two alliances of three teams competing on a 27-by-54-foot field trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the match. Balls scored in higher hoops score alliances more points, and alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. Click here for an animated video demonstrating the “Rebound Rumble” game.

“This is a tremendous event because the robotic game play is fun and exciting to watch, yet this competition is truly about inspiring young people to discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Paul Borchardt, FIRST regional program director. “These students learn self-confidence and respect while building relationships with mentors who help inspire these students to consider careers in math, science, engineering and technology.”

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 21st season, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) anticipates more than 2,000 teams participating from across the country and worldwide in events this year. More than 1,200 students will compete at the Greater Kansas City FRC Regional Championship for a chance to earn a spot at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships, held April 26-28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

In addition to competing for a spot in April’s FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships, teams will also compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses and communities.

Participating FIRST students are also eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from leading universities and colleges. 12 regional universities and technical schools who are among those institutions providing scholarships will be on hand on Friday, March 2 at Hale Arena.

The FIRST Robotics Regional Championship has sponsors and volunteers from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including the Ewing M. Kauffman Foundation, KC STEM Alliance, Time Warner Cable, Honeywell, GM Fairfax Assembly Plant, DST Systems, Garmin, Sprint and other area businesses and organizations. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions and volunteers. A complete list of sponsors and information about this year’s regional is available online at www.kcfirst.org.

Here is the full schedule of events for the FIRST Robotics Regional Championship:

Friday, March 2

8:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. – FIRST Robotics Competition
1 p.m. – 6 p.m. – FIRST Robotics Competition
6 p.m. – Awards Ceremony

Saturday, March 3

8:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. – FIRST Robotics Competition
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – FIRST Final Rounds
4:45 p.m. – Awards Ceremony

About KC STEM Alliance and FIRST

The KC STEM Alliance is a collaborative network of educators, business partners and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals for our community. The non-profit organization supports local K-12 STEM education and programs, and oversees FIRST programs for the Greater Kansas City region. Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. 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. For more information, please visit www.kcstem.org.

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