Not all of the competitive excitement in the month of March is for college basketball. Forty-eight high school robotics teams, many supported by grants and mentors through NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will battle on March 15-17 at the FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Silicon Valley Regional at the Event Center at San Jose State University. News media representatives are invited to attend.

This year’s game, ‘Rack and Roll,’ mixes engineering skills and strategy with a little fast-thinking math. Points can multiply rapidly as teams fight to place different colored inner tubes on a multi-tiered rack system. The game promises to be a fast-paced and high-scoring battle for robotics supremacy. Champions from 37 regional competitions will compete in the FIRST championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta April 12-14.

Who: 48 High School FIRST Robotics Teams

What: FIRST Robotics Silicon Valley Regional

When: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Practice Rounds: 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT

Friday, March 16, 2007

Seeding Matches: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PDT

Awards Ceremony: 4:30 p.m. PDT

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Seeding Matches: 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. PDT

Championship Matches: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. PDT

Award Ceremonies: 3:00 p.m. PDT

Where: The Event Center at San Jose State University, One Washington Square, 290 South 7th Street San Jose, Calif.

To get to the Event Center at San Jose State University, take Highway 280 to downtown San Jose and exit north on Seventh Street. The Silicon Valley Regional is free and open to the public. For additional information or to set up interviews, please contact Jonas Dino at 650-604-5612 or 650-207-3280.

NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project was created to bring together students, engineers, private organizations and other government resources to pursue the goal of increasing robotics expertise in the United States. The project supports programs that inspire students to become involved with technical fields through robotics competitions, facilitation of robotics curriculum enhancements and the development of a national clearinghouse for robotics education and career resources.

FIRST was established in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to motivate students to enter careers in math, science and engineering. The organization’s mission is to design accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. The competition introduces students to opportunities in the technological fields and shows how basic concepts of science, math, engineering and invention are exciting and interesting. FIRST is in its 16th year of competition.

For more information about NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project, visit:

For more information about FIRST Robotics and regional competitions: