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UMD to Host FIRST Robotics Regional Competition
The University of Maryland will host the 2014 Chesapeake Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) April 3-5, 2014, at the Comcast Center on the university’s College Park, Md., campus. More than 1,000 high school students from Maryland and around the country will go head-to-head to secure a spot in the international competition.
Each January, FIRST Robotics, a non-profit organization aimed at inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders, kicks off the competition season by announcing a new game to be played at 54 regional competitions around the world. Teams receive a kit of common parts that are used to build the core systems of a robot. Students work with hundreds of components, including programmable radio controllers, motors, electrical circuitry and mechanical parts, to build and program their robot for the competition. The teams have six weeks to conceptualize, design, and build a robot before entering a regional competition. Winners from each of the regional competitions will go on to compete at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, Mo., at the end of April.
This year's game, Aerial AssistSM, is played by two Alliances of three teams each who compete against each other to score as many balls in goals as possible within a two and a half minute match. Points are earned based on number of goals made and teamwork between robots. In 2013, Team Illusion 4464, a FIRST Robotics Competition team comprised of middle and high school students from Maryland and mentored by Clark School of Engineering students, advanced to the FIRST Championship.
The Chesapeake Regional FRC is open to the public Thursday, April 3 through Saturday, April 5. Teams will spend most of April 3 preparing, while the competition will take place April 4 and 5. UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean and Farvardin Professor, Dr. Darryll Pines, will deliver remarks and help kick off the competition events at 8:30 am on April 4. Participating Chesapeake Regional FRC students will have the opportunity to learn more about the Maryland Robotics Center and sign up for tours of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building while they are on campus.
Guests are encouraged to register for the FIRST Stop program to see the competition action up close, meet the teams, and learn more about K-12 FIRST programs.
April 3, 2014