Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. Now in its 21st season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates close to 2,343 teams from 49 states in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to compete in 52 regional competitions. More than 1,000 students will compete at the Long Island Regional to earn a spot at the Championship to be held April 25-28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO.
The 2012 “Rebound Rumble” robotics game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score teams more points. Team Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.
“I don’t think any great innovator or technologist got up in the morning trying to do something really big, really innovative, because they wanted a job,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation. “If we create a generation of passionate, smart, well-educated, informed kids willing to take educated risks as they try new things … If we create a passionate generation that understands the power of technology and how to apply it, trust me—they’ll have jobs. That’s a consequence of what they’ll have. If FIRST succeeds, we’ll have a rebirth of a society that believes in a future that can and has to be better than the past. We’re going to make sure we build a 21st century, a future that’s way more exciting than the 20th century.”
“We are extremely excited to see what our participants for the FIRST Robotics Competition have come up with this year,” said Ginny Greco, FRC Director, SBPLI. “This event is an imperative stepping stone for students. For some, it’s a chance to take part in making a vision become a reality. For others, it opens the door to possibilities that are few and far between these days, like scholarships or job opportunities. Most importantly, this competition is a chance to instill within students a vital concept to achieving success; anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from 130 leading universities and colleges.
Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering Mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a Kit of Parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
For more information, visit www.sbpli.org.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S.,Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™
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School-Business Partnerships of Long Island, Inc. (SBPLI) was founded in 1984 by Fred Breithut with the goal of developing partnerships between local high schools and businesses that would provide students with practical experience and curriculum development, while helping the business community develop its future workforce. Over 100 partnerships have been formed. In 1999, SBPLI brought the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics program to Long Island, where eight high school teams participated. Since then, the FIRST robotics program has grown to 50 teams, with over 2,300 students participating in FIRST Robotics and LEGO League programs on Long Island each year. The 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition will be held at Hofstra University on March 29-31, 2012.