FIRST® Championship Featuring NBA Hall of Famer, Pop Superstar, and Inventors

Over the weekend, 30,000 participants, fans, families, educators and industry leaders celebrated students’ engineering and robotics prowess at the annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held in St. Louis, Mo., at the Edward Jones Dome.

Three teams from Stuart, Fla., Mountain Home, Ark., and North Brunswick, N.J. won the final showdown, earning the coveted FIRST Robotics Competition Championship Winning Alliance. FIRST® Robotics Competition is for grades 9 to 12, ages 14-18.

This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition challenge was “Rebound RumbleSM,” where matches were played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competed 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 were awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.

The NBA all-time leading scorer and STEM education advocate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar headed to the practice fields to visit with students and checked out the Skyhook robot, which is appropriately named after his signature move!

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 strives to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

This year, will.i.am, pop superstar, was on hand to kick off the week-long event, meet teams, and take part in a ceremony and a new innovation competition, “Wouldn’t It Be Cool If” sponsored by Time Warner Cable, a FIRST Strategic Sponsor.

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 nearly $15 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. and Canada) and Junior FIRST®LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

For more information, visit: www.usfirst.org





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