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Clarkson FIRST Robotics Team Wins First Place in Finger Lakes Regional Competition

 [A photograph for newspaper use is available at]

Team qualifies for national competition next month.

Division by Zero, the name of the Clarkson team, competed against 30 teams sponsored by private industry and universities at this year's regional competition. first team

The robot, nicknamed 'Irrational, "was designed by the students to effectively play both offense and defense," said the team's faculty advisor Clarkson Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor James Carroll. "It was a strategy that came in handy as our students implemented different game plans throughout the competition depending on the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents. I am very proud of the team's accomplishments, which also include two regional titles, two second-place finishes, and a Motorola Quality Award within the last three years."

As a top-place finisher at the Finger Lakes Regional, the Clarkson team is eligible to compete at the national competition held in April in Atlanta, Ga. Division by Zero is also scheduled to compete against 73 teams in the Greater Toronto Regional, March 30-April 1, in Mississauga, Canada.

Division by Zero is composed of 28 Clarkson students working with 30 high school students from Salmon River and Massena central high schools. Technical advisors also include high school teachers Chuck Raiti (Salmon River), Bernie Bissonnette and Brian Trzaskos (Massena Central), and Charles Storrin, a retired supervisor for electrical maintenance at New York Power Authority.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national program that teams high school students with engineers from universities and industry to design and build remote-controlled robots for competition. Its mission is to inspire high school students to pursue college degrees and ultimately careers in science and technology.

FIRST Robotics is part of Clarkson University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program, which promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 250 undergraduates annually. SPEED projects involve engineering design and analysis, fabrication and the enhancement of professional competencies such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communication skills. The SPEED program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives promoting the "Vision of a Clarkson Education" through experiential learning by hands-on application of academic theory to real-world problems.

For more information on the team, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Members of the Clarkson FIRST Robotics team with their first-place trophy following its winning performance at last week's Finger Lakes Regional Competition. The robotics team is made up of students from Clarkson University and Massena and Salmon River high schools. As a regional winner, the team qualifies to compete in the national competition next month in Atlanta.

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

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