A unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and scientists can be. It is a sport where the participants play with the pros and learn from them. It involves designing and building a robot which is a fascinating real-world professional experience. In this sport, participants compete on stage and game rules are a surprise every year.
The FIRST Robotics Competition stages short games played by autonomous and remote controlled robots. The robots are designed and built in 6 weeks (from a common set of parts) by a team of 15 to 25 high-school-aged young people and a handful of engineers-mentors. The students remotely control the robots in competition rounds on the field. Each school year, teams are formed in the fall. The FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff in early January starts the six-week "build" season. Competitions take place in March and April. The FIRST Robotics Competition Regional event is held in GVSU Field House, Allendale, Michigan. It involves 40 to 70 teams cheered by thousands of fans over two and a half days. A championship event caps the season. Referees oversee the competition. Judges evaluate teams and present awards for design, technology, sportsmanship and commitment to FIRST. The Chairman's Award is FIRST's highest honor and recognizes a team that exemplifies the values of FIRST.
Every student - regardless of his or her scientific, mathematic or technological expertise - can participate and benefit. There are critical roles for students in:
Grand Valley hosts the West Michigan Regional of this exciting competition. The environment of the competition is part robot extravaganza, part rock concert, and part pep rally. More than 1,000 students on 54 high school teams from around the Midwest are gathering at Grand Valley State University to compete in the FIRST Robotics West Michigan Regional Competition at Grand Valley on March 25th - 26th, 2010.
Complete information, including a detailed schedule and a list of teams, is available at www.firstinmichigan.org/index.html
More information about the FIRST Robotics Competition is available at www.firstinspires.org