STONY BROOK, New York, January 7, 2012 - More than 800 teenagers from Long Island and metropolitan New York-area schools converged at the Javits Center at Stony Brook University for a local kickoff of the FIRST ® Robotics Competition (FRC ®) where they learned details of a new robotics game called "Rebound RumbleSM"
"I don't think any great innovator or technologist got up in the morning trying to do something really big, really innovative, because they wanted a job," said FIRST Founder Dean Kamen. "If we create a generation of passionate, smart, well-educated, informed kids willing to take educated risks as they try new things. If we create a passionate generation that understands the power of technology and how to apply it, trust me - they'll have jobs. That's a consequence of what they'll have. If FIRST succeeds, we'll have a rebirth of a society that believes in a future that can and has to be better than the past. We're going to make sure we build a 21st century, a future that's way more exciting than the 20th century."
Working with adult Mentors, FRC teams must determine their strategy and have six weeks to build, program, and test their robots to meet the season's engineering challenge. In the game "Rebound RumbleSM," two alliances of three teams compete on a 27-by-54-foot playing field as they try to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute, 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.
Through collaboration with LEGO ® Education, a new opportunity to earn extra points is available to teams if they design, build and deploy a FIRST ® Tech Challenge Mini-Bot from their primary robot. For the first time in the history of the program, FRC will allow the use of the two robotic building systems from the FIRST ® LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge programs: LEGO MINDSTORMS ® and TETRIX ®.
At Saturday's kickoff, teams were shown the game field and received a kit of parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components - but no instructions. Once these young inventors create a robot, their teams participate in competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
This weekend's FRC kickoff was sponsored by School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI), which has also sponsored the Long Island Regional FRC for the past thirteen years, and Stony Brook University. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and/or volunteers.
"This proves to be an exciting time for the students and the mentors when they learn the name and the rules of the game for this year's FIRST Robotics Competition," said Ginny Greco, FRC Director, SBPLI. "We are very proud to present the FRC kickoff as we prepare for the upcoming Long Island Regional FRC in March."
During the 2012 season, more than 50 teams from Long Island, New York City, upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio will convene at Hofstra University for the Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Championship (FRC) on March 29-31, culminating in the 2012 FIRST Championship on April 26-28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
"The next six weeks will be crucial for these students as they design and construct their robots for this competition," Ms. Greco said. "The Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition showcases the talents of these students who learn not only the basic technological aspects of building their robots, but also about other concepts such as teamwork, problem solving and gracious professionalism."
For more information, visit http://www.sbpli.org.
*Photo is available upon request.
School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) was founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses that would provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce. Over 100 partnerships have been formed. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics program to Long Island, where 14 high school teams participated. Since then, the FIRST robotics program has grown to 50 teams, with over 2,000 students participating in FIRST Robotics and LEGO League programs on Long Island each year. The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition will be held at Hofstra University on March 29-31, 2012.
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 nearly $12 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. To find FIRST Robotics Competition events and teams in your area, visit www.usfirst.org, and click on the map in the top right corner or visit ConnectAMillionMinds.com and enter your zip code.
# # #
FIRST ® and FRC ® are registered trademarks, and Gracious Professionalism „¢ is a common law trademark, of the United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (U.S. FIRST).