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Hundreds to gather for FIRST Robotics kick-off event at GVSU

  • A photo of a past FIRST Robotics competition.

Posted on January 03, 2018

Nearly 700 high school students and parents will gather at Grand Valley State University January 6 to participate in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition kick-off event. FIRST Robotics teams from high schools throughout West Michigan will learn about this year's game field and challenge.

The event will include a speech by Grand Valley alumnus Paul Brinks, president and CEO of Koops Engineering in Holland. There will also be a live broadcast from the national kick-off event where FIRST Founder Dean Kamen will help 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 22-24.

FIRST Robotics Competition Kick-off

January 6

Eberhard Center

Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Doors open at 8 a.m., event begins at 9:30 a.m.

At about 10:30 a.m. the game field and challenge will be revealed and then students will go to the Keller Engineering Laboratories building to see game elements and pick up their kits. 

The 2018 season will include more than 3,600 teams — nearly 90,000 high school students and mentors — participating in 160 regional and district events worldwide. Teams work together to build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult mentors. The 2018 FIRST Championship will take place in Houston and Detroit in April. 

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Learn more at

For more information about the kick-off event, contact Ken Platteschorre, who coordinates the FIRST Robotics West Michigan Competition, at or (616) 890-7094.