Jerry Berg
Media Relations Department
(256) 544-0034
Jerry.Berg@msfc.nasa.gov

MEDIA ADVISORY: 00-035

Media Invited Feb. 16 as Local Students Show Off Robot Being Built
for National Competition

For the past several weeks, a team of Lee High School students from
Huntsville, Ala., have been immersed in a project — but not your ordinary
school assignment. They’ve been hard at work planning, designing and
building … a robot. Now, along with space program engineers who are
serving as their mentors, the students have results to show for their effort.

Photo and interview opportunities with the students as they show off and test
their robot on a special “playing field” will be available to the media at 2
p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Marshall’s Building 4619. To attend, media
representatives should contact Jerry Berg of the Marshall Media Relations
Department at (256) 544-0034.

The students have been working with engineers from NASA’s Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, parents, faculty from the University of
Alabama in Huntsville, Weddendorf Design, Mevatac Corporation,
Redstone Arsenal’s AMCOM (Aviation and Missile Command) and Lee
High School teachers to brainstorm, design, construct and test their
“champion robot.”

The team from Lee High School will compete regionally March 16-18 in
Houston. In April, their robot will compete with robots created by more than
300 teams nationwide.

The robotics competition is organized annually by the non-profit corporation
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Its
mission is to generate an interest in science and engineering among
students.

Lee High School is participating through a grant from Marshall’s Education
Programs Department. NASA, a major supporter of FIRST, is sponsoring
more than 100 nationwide teams and hosting four regional competitions.

Quick Facts About FIRST

  • The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual event that began in
    1992. Last year, 199 teams participated.

  • The competition changes each year, to present student teams with
    new challenges. This year’s robots will compete in matches that
    combine goal-scoring elements of basketball, the blocking and
    contact of football, and the strategy of chess.

  • Following 10 regional competitions, the national championship will be
    held

    April 6-8 at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center in Orlando, Fla.

  • This is the first time Lee High School in Huntsville is participating.
  • More information about FIRST can be obtained on the Web at:


    http://www.usfirst.org