Robots to Invade Long Beach Arena as U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition Returns

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Robots compete at the Long Beach Arena

Photo by mr_tentacle

Robots big and small are set to compete head-to-head at the Long Beach Arena once again Thursday, March 15th through Saturday, March 17th, 2012. The world competition is presented by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

It is said that “The engineer has been, and is, a maker of history,” and with the help of FIRST the young adults involved in this competition may very well be the makers of the future. FIRST is a program that helps young people discover science and technology outside the classroom.

By utilizing science, technology, engineering, and math, this event encourages the students to dream big, be creative and develop problem solving skills. This competition is designed to exercise young adults’ minds to their full extent. Regardless of their socio-economic background, each student has the opportunity to create something amazing and revolutionary.

The battle of the young brains is comprised of short games played by autonomous and remote-controlled robots and is as close to the “real world” of engineering as a student can get. The robots are designed and built in six weeks, from a common set of parts, by teams of 15 to 25 adolescents and a handful of mentors. The students remotely control the robots in competition rounds on the field.

FIRST reaches over 248,000 students each year with more than 22,000 teams that create over 20,000 robots. This huge collection of science-minded students and mentors create incredible contraptions that utilize mechanics ranging from garage door openers to PS2 controllers. Their ingenuity only affirms the FIRST vision: to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders.

Teams have just six weeks to build a functioning robot to be eligible to compete. Competitions take place every March where 40 to 70 teams are cheered on by thousands of fans over two and a half days. A championship event caps the season, complete with judges and referees. Awards are presented for design, technology, sportsmanship, and commitment to FIRST.

“This event combines science and technology to create a unique sport for the minds of young people,” said Dan Spellens, Director of Theaters & Entertainment for SMG at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. “We warmly welcome back the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition to the Long Beach Arena,” concluded Spellens.

This event is free and open to the public.

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