10,000+ Students Attended 2013 FIRST® Championship

Last week, more than 10,000 students from around the globe travelled to St. Louis, Missouri, to put their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at the Edward Jones Dome.

The three-day event came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of a roaring crowd of 25,000 when three teams from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; The Woodlands, Texas; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada won the coveted FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championship Winning Alliance. In this year’s game, ULTIMATE ASCENTSM, two Alliances made up of three teams each try to score as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. This year, 2,546 FRC teams in 17 countries participated in 77 Regional and District competitions.

In all, more than 10,000 students, ages 6 to 18, participated in the Championship events. At the Opening Ceremonies, accomplished inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen recognized pop superstar will.i.am for his volunteer work with the not-for-profit. “I’m proud to help FIRST inspire young people to pursue science and technology careers,” will.i.am said. “The experience that students gain and the values they learn in FIRST programs are crucial to creating the innovative problem solvers of tomorrow.”

Several other U.S. and international FIRST student robotics teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, website design, teamwork, and partnerships. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Nearly 650 teams from 37 countries competed in the three levels of FIRST: FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®, grades 4 to 8, 9 to 14-year-olds in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico; 9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S, Canada, and Mexico); FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®, grades 7 to 12, 12 to 18-year-olds); and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®, grades 9 to 12, ages 14 to 18). In addition  to the high-energy robotics matches, 40 teams of 6 to 9-year-olds participated in the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®, grades K-3), World Festival Expo.

For more information, visit: www.usfirst.org

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