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Inventor Dean Kamen Recognizes Best of Young Robotics Competitors in "Super Bowl of Smarts"
Three teams from Worcester, Massachusetts, Las Vegas, Nevada, and South Windsor, Connecticut emerged victorious at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta this weekend. It was the climax to months of competition involving more than 1,300 teams from the United States and six other nations, including Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
FIRST is a not-for-profit founded by Dean Kamen, renowned inventor of the Segway® Human Transporter. The public charity offers innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math while building life skills. Teams earned their invitations to the Championship by excelling in competitive play, sportsmanship, and the development of partnerships among schools, businesses, and communities.
"To passively sit in a classroom is a 19th century format," said Kamen. "In this next century, you're going to have to be creative, or you're not going to make it. We want to help stimulate our youth to be varsity thinkers and varsity creators."
Team 365 "Miracle Workerz" of MOE Robotics Group from Wilmington, Delaware won the prestigious FIRST Robotics Competition Championship Chairman's Award, recognized as the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.
The Winning Alliance of the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship was: Team 177 "Bobcat Robotics" of South Windsor High School from South Windsor, Connecticut; Team 190 "Gompei and the H.E.R.D." of Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science from Worcester, Massachusetts; Team 987 "HIGHROLLERS" of Cimarron-Memorial High School from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Student teams built their robots from a kit of hundreds of parts. This year's game, called "Rack ‘N' Roll," tested the students' and their robots' ability to hang inflated colored tubes on pegs configured in rows and columns on a 10-foot high center "rack" structure, program a robotic vision system to navigate the robot, and "lift" other robots more than 4" off the floor.
Also at the FIRST Championship, 94 teams from around the world participated in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Festival. This year's "Nano Quest" real-life challenge tasked students, ages 9 to 14, to design, build, and program robots to explore the tiny but vast world of nanotechnology. Top honors went to Champion's Award 1st Place winner, Team 1031 "Pigmice" from Portland, Oregon; and Champion's Award 2nd Place winner, Team 1677 "Access 9" from South Bend, Indiana. The Champion's Award measures how teams inspire and motivate others about the excitement and wonders of science and technology, while demonstrating gracious professionalism.
FIRST VEX CHALLENGE
In the FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC) World Championship, more than 1,000 students participated in this intermediate competition for high-school students. Using the innovative Vex Robotics Design System, teams completed the "Hangin'-A-Round" challenge using a more accessible and affordable robotics kit. The FIRST Vex Challenge Inspire Award, a peer and formal judged award recognizing excellence in robot design and teamwork, went to Team 3053 "Occam's Engineers" from Morristown, New Jersey. The FIRST Vex Challenge Winning Alliance was Team 1114 "Simbotics" from Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team 3053 "Occam's Engineers" from Morristown, New Jersey; and Team 3230 "E.M.P." from San Diego, California.
FIRST also recognized the recipients of numerous educational scholarships worth approximately $8 million from some of the most prestigious science and engineering schools in the country, such as Georgia Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Drexel University.
The other major honors that were awarded at the FIRST Championship included:
* The Founder's Award, presented each year by FIRST Founder Dean Kamen to one organization or individual for exceptional service in advancing the ideals and mission of FIRST - General Motors
* The Woodie Flowers Award, founded by Dr. William Murphy and Small Parts, Inc. to recognize an outstanding engineer or teacher who best demonstrates teaching excellence in teaching science, math, and creative design - Dan Green, Motorola, Inc., Michigan
* Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, celebrates one individual who has had a sustained impact on the FIRST Championship by actively supporting FIRST programs through leadership and personal commitment over an extended period - Mark Koors, Indiana
FIRST Robotics Competition Championship:
* Engineering Inspiration Award - Team 178, "2nd Law Enforcers," Connecticut
* Championship Finalists - Team 71, "Team Hammond," Indiana; Team 179, "Children of the Swamp," Florida; Team 233, "The Pink Team," Florida
* Division Winners - Archimedes Division: Team 71, "Team Hammond," Indiana; Team 179, "Children of the Swamp," Florida; Team 233, "The Pink Team," Florida. Curie Division: Team 330, "Beach Bots," California; Team 910 "The Foley Freeze," Michigan; Team 1270, "Red Dragons," Ohio. Galileo Division: Team 173, "Rage," Connecticut; Team 1902, "Exploding Bacon," Florida; Team 1319, "Golden Flash," South Carolina. Newton Division: Team 177, "Bobcat Robotics," Connecticut; Team 190, "Gompei and the H.E.R.D.," Massachusetts; Team 987, "HIGHROLLERS," Nevada
* Division Finalists - Archimedes Division: Team 85, "B.O.B. (Built on Brains)," Michigan; Team 107, "Team R.O.B.O.T.I.C.S.," Michigan; Team 386, "Team Voltage," Florida. Curie Division: Team 48, "Delphi E.L.I.T.E.," Ohio; Team 67, "The HOT Team," Michigan; Team 1732, "Hilltoppers," Wisconsin. Galileo Division: Team 65, "The Huskie Brigade," Michigan; Team 79, "Team Krunch," Florida; Team 503, "Frog Force," Michigan. Newton Division: Team 1124, "UberBots," Connecticut; Team 1592, "Bionic Tigers," Florida; Team 1816, "The Green Machine," Minnesota
* Autodesk Visualization Award - Team 1625, "Winnovation Robotics Team," Illinois
* Autodesk Inventor Award - Team 103, "Cybersonics," Pennsylvania
* DaimlerChrysler Team Spirit Award - Team 1266, "Madison Devil Duckies," California
* Delphi "Driving Tomorrow's Technology"TM Award - Team 375, "Robotic Plague," New York
* General Motors Industrial Design Award - Team 330, "Beach Bots," California
* Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship Award - Team 1026, "Cougars," South Carolina
* Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Entrepreneurship Award - Team 357, "Royal Assault," Pennsylvania
* Motorola Quality Award - Team 234, "Cyber Blue," Indiana
* Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award - Team 386, "Team Voltage," Florida
* Underwriters Laboratories Industrial Safety Award - Team 337, "Hard Working Hard Hats," West Virginia
* XEROX Creativity Award - Team 79, "Team Krunch," Florida
* Imagery Award - Team 34, "Rockets," Alabama
* Rookie All-Star Award - Team 2283, "Panteras," Mexico
* Rookie Inspiration Award - Team 2194, "Fondy Fire," Wisconsin
* Highest Rookie Seed Award - Team 2194, "Fondy Fire," Wisconsin
* Website Design Award - Team 368, "Team Kila Mana," Hawaii
* Judges' Awards - For Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty: Team 922, "ULTIMATE," Texas; Team 71, "Team Hammond," Indiana; and for Paying FIRST Forward: Team 1382, "ETEP Team," Brazil
FIRST LEGO League World Festival:
* Innovative Robot Award - Team 1221, "Built on the Rock," New Jersey
* Robot Dependability Award - Team 3473, "Nano Gnats," Alaska
* Programming Award - Team 2358, "NanoNerds," Pennsylvania
* Robot Performance Award - Team 1221, "Built on the Rock," New Jersey
* Research Quality Award - Team 1693, "The Inventioneers," New Hampshire
* Innovation Solution Award - Team 2850, "NanoKnights," Texas
* Creative Presentation Award - Team 747, "Dark Matter," Michigan
* Teamwork Award - Team 731, "Team Tiki," Virginia
* Alliance Expo Award - Team 2850, "NanoKnights," Texas; Team 3351, "CCA Racing Robots," New York; Team 5569, "AllStarz," Connecticut; Team 6320, "Antelope," China
* Adult Mentor Award - Lee Ann Welch, Michigan
* Young Adult Mentor Award - Team 6325, "Legomania," Germany
* World Festival Volunteer Award - Jena Daniels, New Hampshire; Kevin Lambie, Wisconsin
* Universal Design Award - Team 1693, "The Inventioneers," New Hampshire
* Against All Odds Award - Team 6305, "Kuranda K-Bots," Australia; Team 6385, "Robot Trolls," Jordan (tie)
* Team Spirit Award - Team 955, "Atomic Penguins," Alabama; Team 6410, "Gunz," South Korea (tie)
* Judges Awards - Team 6460, "National Experimental 401," Taiwan; Team 6445, "Abat Oliba Girls Dream Team," Spain
FIRST Vex Challenge World Championship:
* FIRST Vex Challenge Amaze Award - Team 3399, "Hammered Steel," Texas
* FIRST Vex Challenge Connect Award - Team 3047, "Tenacious Technicians," Michigan
* FIRST Vex Challenge Innovate Award - Team 3626, "Einstein's Daughters," California
* FIRST Vex Challenge Think Award - Team 2052, "S.M.A.R.T. Lions," Singapore
* Runner-up Alliance - Team 3050, "JAWS," Michigan; Team 3649 "Riveted Steel," Texas; Team 3652, "FLAME," Ontario, Canada
For a complete listing of awards, match results and scholarship winners, please visit FIRST online at http://www.usfirst.org and click on the "FIRST Championship in Atlanta" headline.
Autodesk, Inc. is the Official Championship Sponsor of the 2007 FIRST Championship. Other FIRST Championship sponsors this year are: Abbott Laboratories - FIRST Pit Sponsor; The Coca-Cola Company - FIRST Team Alliance Sponsor; FedEx Corporation - FIRST Shipping Sponsor; NASA - Machine Shop and Satellite Broadcast Sponsor; Underwriters Laboratories - FIRST Safety Partner; Delphi Corporation - FIRST Hall of Fame Sponsor; Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation - FIRST Hospitality Center Sponsor; United States Patent and Trademark Office - FIRST Sponsor; Georgia Institute of Technology - FIRST Scholarship Row Sponsor; Central Intelligence Agency and Rolls-Royce - FIRST Robotics Conference Sponsors; and the FIRST Robotics Competition Peachtree Consortium: AT&T Georgia; The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation; Georgia Research Alliance; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., A Cisco Company; Southern Company; UPS; and Women in Technology, Inc.
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 the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Vex Challenge for high-school students, the FIRST LEGO League for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-olds.
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Marian Murphy, 603-666-3906 ext. 409
Cone, Inc. for FIRST
Maureen O’Connell, 617-939-8330
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