Press Release

High School Students to Show off Design and Engineering Talent at First Robotics Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2012
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High School Students to Show off Design and Engineering Talent at First Robotics Competition

CLEVELAND — More than 1,500 high school students from across Ohio, the U.S. and Canada, will compete in the 11th annual Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Admission is free and open to the public.

The event runs Thursday through Saturday, March 22-24, at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. Practice rounds will be held March 22, and Friday and Saturday are competition days.

During the event, 60 teams of 15-25 students will compete with their robots for honors and recognition. There will be forty teams from schools and community organizations from Ohio, and 20 out-of-state teams representing Canada, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, was founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire student interest in science and engineering, establish connections and to build robots. “This is real world engineering for students,” said project coordinator Chris Hartenstine of Paragon TEC, Inc. supporting the Educational Programs Office at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. “The kids are totally absorbed in the project.”

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual engineering contest, whose objective is different every year. This year, student teams will build 120-pound robots that play basketball in a new game called Rebound Rumble.

Rebound Rumble is played by two competing groups on a playing field that is composed of eight basketball hoops and six robots that compete to get as many basketballs into their hoops as possible during a 2-minute, 15-second match. The higher the hoop in which the basketball is scored, the more points the group receive. Groups are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.

In January, FIRST revealed Rebound Rumble to over 60,000 students across the globe at the FIRST Robotics Kickoff. NASA, the largest sponsor, broadcast the kickoff from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester over the agency’s NASA Television station. After FIRST revealed the game, the teams picked up a kit of parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system and a mix of automation components, but no instructions. The teams were given only six weeks to design and build robots.

NASA Glenn Research Center engineers and scientists participate with many of these teams as technical participants and mentors to the students. Students’ experience real-world engineering by designing, building and programming a robot to compete in regional competitions held across the U.S.

This year, 45 regional competitions will take place, along with four international competitions in March and April. The FIRST Championship competition will be held April 25-28 in St. Louis.

FIRST is a non-profit organization based in Manchester, N.H., that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue academic opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.

For more information about the FIRST Robotics competition, visit:

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

To view the game animation, Rebound Rumble visit:

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

SpaceRef staff editor.