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Clarkson University Undergrads Guide Local High-school Students Team For Regional Robotics Competition

[A photo for newspaper use is available at]

Students from Clarkson University, Massena High School and Salmon River High School got together recently to brainstorm strategies and design ideas for a March robotics competition.Members of the Northern STX

The FIRST Robotics Team, also known as the Northern STX (Science and Technology EXperience) is competing in the 2000 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition.  The team will participate in the New England Regionals March 30-April 1 in Hartford, Conn

Organizers recently unveiled this year’s robotics contest to the hundreds of teams across the U.S. Competing teams have only six weeks to design and build their remote-controlled robot entry. 

Throughout the afternoon, high-school students were separated into groups led by Clarkson engineering undergraduates. Each group, prompted and facilitated by the Clarkson undergraduates, thought of various designs for this year’s robot.  Once the designs and strategies were presented to the team, the high-school students acted out their robots being wheeled around on coasters and throwing and removing balls from laundry baskets.

The Clarkson students reviewed the ideas from the high-school students and formulated the final robot design.  Both high-school students and college students will work hard during the next few weeks to bring the robot to fruition.  The high-school students will also be involved in Web design, computer animation, learning to drive the robot, and working out strategies for the competition.

This is the second consecutive year that a team of North Country high school students and Clarkson students has competed in the FIRST event.  Last year’s team, the North Country Ice Warriors (Clarkson/Massena High/Potsdam High), placed 31st.

FIRST is a part of Clarkson University’s SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) Program and its School of Business Educational Partnership Program.  SPEED promotes project-based learning opportunities by providing engineering design opportunities for Clarkson students through 16 projects.  The Educational Partnership Program provides graduate students in business with real-world project management experience while working with area elementary, junior-high and high-school students.

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Northern STX act out their robot designs. Lending a hand: Clarkson University student Christopher Flanagan, left; Massena High School student Susan Macauley, second from left; and Salmon River High tech teacher Charles Raiti.

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

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