Jan 6, 2012

Robotics competition

The Central Lakes College Robotics Club will host the FIRST Robotics Kickoff from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Staples campus. FIRST means "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology." FRC Kickoff marks the beginning of the design and build season. Whether it’s in Manchester, N. H. or one of the numerous “local” Kickoffs, teams have the opportunity to meet with others to compare notes, get ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up the Kit of Parts, and get geared up for the exciting competition season. National sponsors include NASA and PTC, a Massachusetts-based product development company. More than a half dozen high school teams from the area are involved, working to build competing models. They will advance to one of 3 Minnesota Regionals in March. CLC Robotics instructor Nathan Peterson coordinates the local event.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a series of competitions designed by Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.
In 1992, the first robotics competition was held in a New Hampshire high school gym, with 28 teams participating in the game, "Maize Craze." Now, the competition involves more than 1,300 teams competing in more than 40 Regional Events, and The Championship held at the Georgia Dome and World Congress Center in Atlanta where more than 8,500 high-school-aged young people participate.

FIRST redefines winning for these students. Teams are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is a secondary goal. Winning means building partnerships that last.