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FIRST Robotics Competition kicks into ‘Overdrive’ Events

This weekend RIT will once again host the Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. More than 4,000 fans and high school students from 40 teams throughout the Northeast United States and Canada will be competing for the ultimate prize—a chance to represent the Finger Lakes Region at the 2008 FIRST Championship, April 17-19 at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology—competitions challenge participants to solve engineering design problems in fun contests involving remote-controlled robots designed, built and programmed by students and their mentors. The program, created in 1989 by Dean Kamen, the well-known inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, aims to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology and engineering.

This year’s game, ‘Overdrive,’ challenges teams to complete laps around a rectangular track while pushing large ‘trackballs.’ Teams accumulate points by moving the trackballs under or over an overpass that bisects the track.

This year’s opening ceremonies are slated for 9 a.m. Friday, March 7. Final rounds will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, followed by an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. March 8. For more details, check out the complete schedule of events on the FIRST Rochester Web site.


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