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Ice Warrior Robot To Be Unveiled In Massena Saturday

On Saturday, February 20, at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisville Elementary School the North Country Ice Warriors will unveil the "Ice Warrior," the team’s 1999 robot entry in next month's U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition.

High School students from Massena High School and Potsdam High School have worked with Clarkson University students, Massena High School teachers and area professionals to design and build the Ice Warrior. The team had only six weeks to bring the robot to life. Saturday’s unveiling will be the only opportunity for the North Country community to see the Ice Warrior before it is shipped to Hartford, Conn., on Monday. The Northeast Regional U.S. FIRST Robotics competition will be held at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford March 18-20.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) aims to “inspire curiosity and create interest in science and mathematics among today’s youth by immersing them in the world of engineering, and showing the important connection between classroom and real world applications.”  Approximately 300 teams will be competing in regional competitions across the country. 

Tina C. Yuille, director of Clarkson University’s SPEED Program (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) saw the U.S. FIRST program as a perfect addition to the 15 other project-based engineering design teams supported by SPEED at Clarkson.

Yuille worked with Kimberly O’Toole, a Clarkson freshman electrical engineering major and three-year veteran of FIRST, to build interest in FIRST from Clarkson students and professors, Massena High School, Potsdam High School and area businesses. There are about 25 Massena High School students, four Potsdam High School students and 15 Clarkson University students on the team.

Bernie Bissonnette and John Croasdaile, both Massena High School teachers, head the mechanical subteam. James Carroll, Clarkson University Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor, is the team’s technical adviser.  Along with the robot, the team is also involved in Web page design, computer animation, fundraising, spirit and public relations.

Yuille says that the North Ice Warriors would like to thank area businesses for supporting the team by donating money, materials, or services.  These companies include ALCOA, Clopman’s, GM Powertrain, MITEL, Moser’s CustomTrim Shop, Norwood Hobby Shop, NYS Power Authority, Out of the Woods, and the SPEED Program (General Electric and General Motors).

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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