Press Release

NASA Marshall to Host FIRST Robotics Kick-Off Event Jan. 7 at USSRC; Media Invited

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2017
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More than 350 area students are expected to attend the 2017 FIRST Robotics Kick-Off event Jan. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The event, to be held in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, is hosted by the USSRC, as well as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
FIRST Robotics is a national robotic competition for students grades 9-12. Teams from Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi are expected to attend, including The Mad Rockers of Bob Jones and James Clemens High Schools in Madison; Team G.R.E.A.T. from Grissom High School in Huntsville; as well as the two competitively awarded NASA Marshall house teams of Morgan County Mech Tech, consisting of A.P. Brewer, Priceville, Danville, Falkville and West Morgan High Schools; and the Golden Hurricanes of Columbia High School in Huntsville.
Each year, the FIRST Robotics game is changed, adding new levels of complexity to challenge students. Once teams learn of the requirements for this year’s game, they will pick up a “Kit of Parts” and have six weeks to build, design and test a functioning robot. If successful, they can compete in district and regional competitions throughout the nation March and April in order to qualify for the national championship(s) which will be held in Houston, April 19-22 and/or St. Louis April 26-29.

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, New Hampshire, to inspire young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. 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 these fields. This educational event is a collaborative effort between Marshall, the USSRC and the National Space Club of Huntsville.
News media interested in covering the event should contact Pat Ammons at the USSRC at 256-701-0916; or Angela Storey of the Marshall Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-544-0034 no later than 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

More information about FIRST programs and competitions is available at:

More information about the Marshall Space Flight Center is available at:

More information about the U.S. Space & Rocket Center is available at:

SpaceRef staff editor.