Press Release

High Schools to Compete in 2014 Robotics Competition; NASA Marshall to Co-Sponsor Kickoff Jan. 4

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2013
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What: The 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition begins Saturday, Jan. 4, with an event co-sponsored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, both in Huntsville, Ala. More than a dozen teams from high schools in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi will participate and discover what challenges they — and the robots they will build over the next six weeks — must overcome to win the national contest.

At this kickoff, and similar events at the same time across the country, each team will receive an identical kit of parts including motors, batteries, a control system, personal computer and a mix of automation components – but they won’t get instructions. Working with adult mentors, students will have six weeks to design, build, program and test their robots to meet the program’s 2014 engineering challenges. Those challenges will be revealed to the students in a NASA TV broadcast during the kickoff.

Teams will program and remotely control their robots during a series of regional and district competition rounds that begin in February and lead to the FIRST Championship in April.

FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is a national organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen in Manchester, N.H., to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and technical fields.

NASA and its Robotics Alliance Project provide grants for high school teams and support for FIRST Robotics competitions around the country to address the critical national shortage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM fields.

When: 9 a.m. to noon CST, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. The broadcast announcement of the FIRST Competition challenge begins at 9:30 a.m.; distribution of the parts kits to the teams will be from 11 a.m. to noon.

Where: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, Ala. The event will be held in the 3D Digital Theater at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

Who: The team names and schools participating in the 2014 FIRST Robotics competition kickoff include Redstone Robotics, New Century Technology and Lee Pre-Engineering Magnet High Schools, Huntsville, Ala.; Grissom Robotics Engineering Applications Team (G.R.E.A.T.), Virgil I. Grissom High School, Huntsville, Ala.; Mad Rockers, Bob Jones and James Clemens High Schools, Madison, Ala.; Rockets, Limestone County Career Technical Center, Athens, Ala.; Dragon Slayers, Arab High School, Arab, Ala.; Gear Heads, Walker County Center of Technology, Jasper, Ala.; Omega, Oxford High School, Oxford, Ala.; Jackson Robotics, made up of Scottsboro High School, Scottsboro, Ala., and Section High School, Dutton, Ala.; Morgan County Mech Tech, made up of Morgan County, Ala., schools including A.P. Brewer High School in Somerville, Ala.; RoboKomodos, Franklin High School, Franklin, Tenn.; Falcon Engineering and Robotics (F.E.A.R.), Lincoln County High School, Fayetteville, Tenn.; Sparta Bots, Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, Tenn.; and Patriobots, Heritage Academy, Columbus, Miss.

To attend: News media interested in covering the events should contact Angela Storey at 256-714-4370 no later than 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3.

For more information about FIRST, visit:


SpaceRef staff editor.