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12-05-2014

Clarkson University Hosts FIRST Robotics Championship Tournament Dec. 13 & 14

Robots and their handlers invade Clarkson University for the annual FIRST Championship Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 13, and Sunday, Dec. 14.

FIRST RoboticsAbout 600 students and their coaches, comprising more than 60 teams, are expected to participate in the two-day event in Clarkson's Student Center, Technology Advancement Center and Educational Resources Center.

High school students will participate in the in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event begins with an opening ceremony, followed by the robot competition and ending with an awards ceremony.

In the FTC, teams play a game where students operate robots on a soft foam mat playing surface in an attempt to score points by placing balls in goals.

Middle school students, ages 9 to 14, will compete on Sunday, Dec. 14, in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Challenge from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event begins with an opening ceremony, followed by the robot competition and ending with an awards ceremony.

In the FLL Challenge, teams will choose a topic they are passionate about or have always wanted to learn, and create an innovative solution that improves the learning experience.

The tournament is sponsored by the Northern New York Robotics Academy, a local higher education consortium, and Clarkson University. The academy is directed by Clarkson Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor James Carroll.

The tournament also is sponsored by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, the “Connect a Million Minds” initiative of Time Warner Cable, the U.S. Air Force, National Grid, Northern Machining, Adirondack Energy, PPC: A Belden Brand and BAE Systems.

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.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Teams operate robots during a FIRST Robotics event at Clarkson University.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/first-robotics.jpg .]

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

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