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Rose-Hulman Gives Teens a Chance to Explore Engineering Skills at FIRST Robotics Regional;
September 24, 2012
Premier International Youth Robotics Competition to
Bring More Than 4,000 to Campus in April
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will provide opportunities
for thousands of high-school students to showcase their design and
engineering skills through the internationally known FIRST robotics
competition's new Crossroads Regional, being
conducted April 4-6, 2013, in the college's Sports and Recreation
||Youth Robotics Movement: The FIRST Robotics program
captivates youths of all ages toward careers in science,
engineering and math.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology) brings the excitement of a sporting event to science
and technology through a robotics competition. Under strict rules,
limited resources, and time limits, 50 teams of 25 students or more
build and program robots from a common kit of parts to perform
prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Teams measure the
effectiveness of their robots and test the power of collaboration
during the regional round of the competition.
Last year's challenge, "Rebound Rumble," had teams creating
robots that worked autonomously and through wireless controls to
place miniature basketballs in hoops scattered through a playing
field. Balls placed in higher hoops scored more points. Cooperation
is encouraged as alliances formed among teams improve scoring
opportunities, while increasing the fun. An exciting, new game will
be revealed early in 2013, and teams will have six weeks to work
with professional engineers to use computer programming,
mathematics, and problem-solving skills to come up with a winning
"This is as close to 'real-world engineering' as a young student
can get," said Crossroads Regional Chair Carlotta Berry, Ph.D.,
associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at
Rose-Hulman. "I have been a FIRST judge since 2007, and the
excitement that this event generates in young people about science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is unlike anything I
have ever seen before."
Witnessing all of this fun at Rose-Hulman will be more than
4,000 youths, parents and family members, educators, engineers,
media, competition officials, and people interested in robotics.
All events during the three-day competition are free and open to
"FIRST Robotics is the premier, international high school
robotics competition," said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons.
"We're looking forward to bringing hundreds of the top high school
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students from
throughout the world to Rose-Hulman and Terre Haute next year."
Recent alumnus Andy Milluzzi, a FIRST volunteer, added, "FIRST
changes lives and inspires kids. Every year I learn about students
who have been changed by the FIRST experience. They learn that have
talents and can go onto college. Rose-Hulman's mission to become
the best engineering institution in the world could not be more in
line with FIRST Robotics' mission. We want to inspire the next
generation of scientists and engineers. This new relationship with
FIRST Robotics will allow Rose-Hulman to continue attracting the
best and brightest students, and then allow them to develop their
passion for science, engineering, and math."
|Special Times For Robotics: Members of Rose-Hulman's
Robotics Team listen as President Robert Coons marks the 2012-13
school year as the "Year of Robotics" on campus.
Now in its 22nd year, FIRST has coveted Rose-Hulman as a
regional site, hoping to increase the number of Indiana and Midwest
teams in the competition. The 2013 competition is expected to
involve approximately 2,700 teams and 54,000 students from 49
states and as far away as Australia, Israel, Turkey, and Brazil.
Top regional teams will advance to the international championships
on April 24-27 at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen founded FIRST to inspire
young people to be science and technology leaders through exciting
innovation mentor-based programs. He is familiar with Rose-Hulman
after being the college's 2013 commencement speaker and being
awarded an honorary degree of engineering from Rose-Hulman.
"We're hoping to create a generation of passionate, smart,
well-educated, and informed kids willing to take educated risks as
they try new things," said Kamen. "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."
FIRST is supported by three out of every five Fortune 500
companies and offers more than $14 million in college scholarships
annually. An independent study by Brandeis University revealed that
FIRST alumni are more than twice as likely to have a science- or
technology-related career after college and over three times as
likely to pursue a career in engineering.
"At Rose-Hulman, we appreciate the role hands-on activities,
like building robotic projects, play in captivating young minds
toward science, engineering, and math careers," said Coons, who
added the 2012-13 school year will be known as the "Year of
Robotics" at Rose-Hulman. "A large number of our students have been
introduced to the power of science, engineering, and mathematics
through the FIRST program. Also, several of our alumni have helped
FIRST grow by serving as FIRST mentors, and we're hoping they will
help us host the Crossroads Regional next April."
Find out more about FIRST at www.usfirst.org.