A team consisting of students from James Ford Rhodes High School in
Cleveland, OH and a group of engineers and technicians from NASA Glenn
Research Center are ready to seek the sweet taste of success.

After 6 weeks and almost 50 hours spent at Glenn planning and building a
robot to enter in the 2001 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science
and Technology) Robotics Competition, the team is ready to travel to the
Great Lakes Regional Competition at Eastern Michigan University on March
22-24. That will be their first chance to show their skill in remotely
steering their robot to victory. Then it’s on to the National Competition
April 5-7 at Disney World’s Epcot Center.

The FIRST competition provides an opportunity for students to learn what
engineering really is and how science and technology can be not only
challenging but also interesting and fun. Jo Ann Charleston, chief of the
Office of Educational Programs at Glenn, remarked, “This is an education of
concepts; it opens up a whole new career field for the students.”

This will be the second year that Rhodes and Glenn have worked together to
build both a championship robot and, just as importantly, “a close
relationship among the technicians and engineers and the students in which
they can interact as equals,” said Larry Oberle, FIRST project manager at

This year Glenn also has served as sponsor and mentor for three other teams
from the Greater Cleveland area–Max S. Hayes Vocational School and
Beachwood and East Technical High Schools–and a team from Eastmoor Academy
in Columbus, OH. This is Rhodes’ third year competing in FIRST, East Tech’s
eighth year and Eastmoor’s second year. The Beachwood and Max Hayes teams
are rookies.

An important element in all of this is the sponsorship of the teams by local
industry and academia. Rhodes is sponsored by Arthur Anderson LLP; Battelle;
Biomec, Inc. and Ford Motor Co. Sponsors of the other teams include, among
others, Cleveland State University’s Department of Engineering Technology,
the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Cleveland Sate University, TRW
Incorporated, and Columbus State College.

More information about FIRST can be found at: www.USFIRST.org.