Press Release

High School Students to Compete in Robotics Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
March 12, 2013
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CLEVELAND – More than 1,200 high school students from across Ohio, the U.S. and Canada, will compete in the 12th annual Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Admission is free and open to the public.

The event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 28-30, in Cleveland at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. Practice rounds will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and competition days are Friday and Saturday. On Friday, students compete from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school event organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) that gives students real-world experience by working alongside professional engineers. They build and compete with a robot of their own design and learn to use sophisticated hardware and software. Students also develop skills in engineering design, project management, programming, teamwork and strategic thinking. Student teams may earn a place in the championship and qualify for over $16 million in college scholarships.

This year, teams built robots weighing up to 120 pounds that can complete a task, which changes every year. Last year robots competed in basketball; this year students will play a modified version of disc golf.

The game, Ultimate Ascent, is played between competing teams that use their robots to collect and score discs in a variety of goals. Teams earn additional points by climbing a pyramid by the end of the match.

During the event, 51 teams of 20-30 students each will compete for awards and recognition in excellence in design, creativity, innovation, collaboration and competition performance. Twenty-nine teams will represent schools and community organizations in Ohio, and 22 out-of-state teams will represent Canada, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin.

“The competition is an action-packed opportunity for students to test their science, technology, engineering and math skills,” said Angela Surgenor, aerospace engineer and project coordinator supporting the Educational Programs Office at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. “The students are extremely smart and are building the skills needed to become future leaders in areas of science and technology.”

NASA Glenn is the largest sponsor of the Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Glenn engineers and scientists serve as technical advisors to many of the teams and mentors to the students.

FIRST Robotics Competition will reach nearly 60,000 students who are participating in 58 regional competitions, 17 district competitions, one state championship and six region championships. Four hundred deserving teams will qualify to go to the FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 24-27.

Media representatives who wish to attend may register with Jeannette Owens at

For more information about the FIRST Robotics Competition, visit:

To learn more about the FIRST Buckeye Regional competition, visit:

To view the game animation, ULTIMATE ASCENT visit:

For additional information about NASA’s educational programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.