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MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Kent
305-537-6278, justin@justinkent.com

TEENS FROM THROUGHOUT FLORIDA SHOWCASE DESIGN AND ENGINEERING SKILLS AT FIRST  ROBOTICS COMPETITION – “Rebound Rumble”

Students Learn Problem Solving and Teamwork in Addition to Designing and Building Robots by Working with Professional Mentors to Participate at South Florida Regional on March 29-31

BOCA RATON, FL (March 26, 2012) ― High school students from schools throughout Florida and elsewhere will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work after an intense six weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (www.FIRSTinFlorida.org). This week, at the Boca Raton campus of Florida Atlantic University, 42 teams of students and engineering and technical Mentors will demonstrate their skill for science, mathematics, and technology. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities.

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. Now in its 21st season, the FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates close to 2,343 teams from 49 states in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom to compete in 52 regional competitions. More than 1,100 students will compete at the South Florida Regional to earn a spot at the Championship to be held April 25-28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.

The 2012 "Rebound Rumble" robotics game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score teams more points. Team Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.

"I don't think any great innovator or technologist got up in the morning trying to do something really big, really innovative, because they wanted a job," said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation. "If we create a generation of passionate, smart, well-educated, informed kids willing to take educated risks as they try new things. If we create a passionate generation that understands the power of technology and how to apply it, trust me—they'll have jobs. That's a consequence of what they'll have. If FIRST succeeds, we'll have a rebirth of a society that believes in a future that can and has to be better than the past. We're going to make sure we build a 21st century, a future that's way more exciting than the 20th century."

This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $14 million in scholarships from 130 leading universities and colleges.

Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering Mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a Kit of Parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

FIRST Robotics Competition South Florida Regional Sponsors and Volunteers come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area, including NASA, jcpennney, US Army ROTC, ILS Technologies, Florida Atlantic University, Kent Digital, and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science.  Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional Mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and Volunteers.

-FAU-


About FIRST:
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S.,Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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