FIRST Championship Honors Students' Engineering and Robotics Prowess [Manufacturing Close - Up]
(Manufacturing Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Over the weekend, 30,000 participants, fans, families, educators and industry leaders honored students' engineering and robotics prowess at the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held in St. Louis, Mo., at the Edward Jones Dome.
Three teams from Stuart, Fla., Mountain Home, Ark., and North Brunswick, N.J. won the final showdown, earning the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship Winning Alliance. Several other U.S. and international FIRST student robotics teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, website design, teamwork, and partnerships.
According to the company, FIRST strives to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology.
This year, will.i.am, pop musician, was on hand to kick off the week-long event, meet teams, and take part in a ceremony and a new competition, "Wouldn't It Be Cool If" sponsored by Time Warner Cable, a FIRST Strategic Sponsor.
Major awards were presented by senior officials from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, as well as executives from Autodesk, Boeing, General Motors, PTC, Microsoft, Google, Rockwell Automation, and UL, among others.
More than 600 teams from 32 countries competed in the three levels of FIRST: FIRST LEGO League (FLL, grades 4 to 8, 9 to 14- year-olds in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico; 9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S, Canada, and Mexico); FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC, grades 9 to 12, 14 to 18-year-olds); and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC, grades 9 to 12, ages 14-18). In addition, 40 teams of 6 to 9-year-olds participated in the Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL, grades K-3), showcasing their science and technology smarts in the Jr.FLL World Festival Expo.
This year marked the 21st season of the FRC high-school-level program. In its initial competition year, FIRST hosted an FRC program with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high school gym.
This year, 2,343 FIRST teams in 12 countries participated in 52 Regional events, 15 District Competitions, and two Region Championships. In addition to the FRC winning alliance and awards, the first-ever Future Innovator Award sponsored by the Abbott Foundation was given to Ben Mattinson, Team 2840, Blue Tide, Paradise Valley, Ariz.
As described in a release, the FIRST Championship honored long- time supporters of the FIRST mission:
Founder's Award, presented each year by FIRST founder Dean Kamen to one organization or individual for exceptional service in advancing the ideals and mission of FIRST - Google Inc.
Woodie Flowers Award, founded by Dr. William P. Murphy Jr. to recognize an outstanding engineer or teacher who best demonstrates teaching excellence in teaching science, math and creative design - Dr. Earl Scime, chair of Physics Department, West Virginia University; Mentor, Team 2614, MARS, Morgantown, W.Va.
Volunteer of the Year Award - Aidan F. Browne, Ph.D., Faculty, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, N.C.
According to the company, the event offered three different robotics challenges; some the 2012 winners are as follows:
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship combines sports excitement with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams are challenged to fundraise, design a brand, exercise teamwork, and build and program robots to perform tasks against competitors.
This year's FRC challenge was "Rebound Rumble," where matches are played between two Alliances of three teams each. The Winning Alliance of the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship was Team 180, S.P.A.M., Stuart, Fla.; Team 16, Bomb Squad, Mountain Home, Ark.; Team 25, Raider Robotix, North Brunswick, N.J. from the Galileo Division.
Team 1114, Simbotics, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, won the Chairman's Award, the highest honor given at the FRC Championship, recognizing the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.
Winners of the Dean's List Award included: Ikechukwa Chima, Team 3059, Envirobotics, Yonkers, N.Y.; Marina Dimitrov, Team 1540, Flaming Chickens, Portland, Ore.; Chase Douglas, Team 128, The Botcats, Grandview Heights, Ohio; Tristan Evarts, Team 1058, PVC Pirates, Londonderry, N.H.; Danielle Gehron, Team 3138, Innovators Robotics, Dayton, Ohio; David Gomez, Team 3196, Team SPORK, Mooresville, N.C.; Rachel Holladay, Team 1912, Team Combustion, Slidell, La.; Jasmine Kemper, Team 2996, Cougars Gone Wired, Colorado Springs, Colo.; John Rangel, Team 842, Falcon Robotics, Phoenix, Ariz.; Matthew Ricks, Team 704, Warriors, Grand Prairie, Tex.
Top honors went to Champion's Award 1st Place winner, Team 15650, Falcons Japan, Tokyo, Japan; Champion's Award 2nd Place winner, Team 252, Blue Gear Ticks, Lincoln, Mass.; and Champion's Award 3rd Place winner, Team 15200, NXTremers, Bengaluru, India.
Official Championship Sponsors for the 2011 FIRST Championship include: 2012 FIRST Championship Sponsors include: Official Championship Sponsor: Qualcomm Foundation; Lead Championship Sponsors: Abbott, Autodesk, The Boeing Company, SAIC, Saint Louis Science Center, Siemens, U.S. Air Force, and United Technologies; FIRST Championship Sponsors: Coca-Cola and National Defense Education Program (NDEP); FIRST Shipping Sponsor: FedEx; Machine Shop & Satellite Broadcast Sponsor: NASA; FIRST Safety Partner: UL; FIRST LEGO League World Festival Pit Sponsor: Intel; FIRST Event Sponsor: Google Inc.; FIRST Robotics Conference Sponsor: Rolls- Royce; Championship Supporters: Avnet; Central Intelligence Agency; International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE); and United States Army's Rapid Equipment Force.
FIRST designs accessible programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.
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