March 1st, 2012
Picture this: you’re in a high school gym with hundreds of other onlookers cheering loudly for a team of students. The teams battle against each other to get a basketball through a hoop. Teammates work together as the audience, clad in their team’s colors, scream encouragement.
Sounds like a high school basketball game, right? In fact, it’s the FIRST® Robotics Competition.
Each year, hundreds of students across the country compete in a varsity sport of the mind known as the FIRST Robotics competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” In the FIRST Robotics competition, teams of high school students work with mentors to design a robot to compete against other teams in regional and national competitions.
The FIRST organization was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to foster an interest and participation in science and technology. Kamen is the inventor of well known products such as the Segway. Since its founding, hundreds of thousands of students of all ages have competed in various FIRST competitions.
This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition, the Rebound Rumble Game, launched in early January. The task requires teams to build a robot that can put as many basketballs through hoops of various heights in a two minute and fifteen second match.