Hundreds gather for FIRST Robotics kick-off event

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Nearly 400 high school students and parents gathered at Grand Valley for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition kick-off event on January 7. More than 30 FIRST Robotic teams from high schools throughout West Michigan learned about “Rebound Rumble,” this year’s game field and challenge.

Broadcast from the national kick-off event in New Hampshire, Inventor Dean Kamen, Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, helped introduce this year’s challenge. Teams will have six weeks to design and build robots to compete in the West Michigan district competition, which will take place at Grand Valley from March 16-17.

The 2012 season will include an estimated 2,355 teams — nearly 60,000 high school students — participating in 68 regional and district events worldwide. FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Learn more at www.usfirst.org.