By Jeannette Owens (NASA Glenn Research Center), Katherine Brown (NASA HQ), and William Jeffs (Johnson Space Center)
Over 1,500 high school students from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will compete in the 16th annual Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition March 31 and April 1, 2017, 8am-6:15pm at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Avenue E, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Practice matches will be held Thursday, March 30, 2017, noon to 6:30pm. Admission to the competition and practice games is free and open to the public.
Before going into the ring to compete with some of the finest student-built robots, the young inventors build and program robots by making parts, pieces, gears, circuits and a smart phone, which all work together to perform a simple task — in this case, collecting balls, dropping them into scoring zones and maneuvering robots aboard an airship.
The teams are evaluated based on robot performance, friendly competition and sportsmanship.
“Winning is not really the point,” said Stephanie Brown-Houston, education program specialist at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “The most important goal is for students to increase their understanding of science and technology, learn new practical and work-related skills, increase understanding of teamwork and manage a project from beginning to end.”
Buckeye Regional contestants compete for awards, a spot at the FIRST Championship held in St. Louis, Missouri, Wednesday, April 26 thru Saturday, April 29 and the eligibility to apply for nearly $22 million in scholarships from more than 200 colleges and universities.
NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project is one of the largest sponsors of the FIRST Robotics Competition and a strategic partner. The Glenn Research Center is the largest sponsor of the Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. Glenn’s scientists and engineers lend their time and talents to guide and mentor local high school teams. Some of the other sponsors include Parker Hannifin, Rockwell Automation, the Callahan Foundation, Cleveland State University and Ohio Aerospace Institute.
FIRST or “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” was founded by Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest in science and technology.
For more information about FIRST Robotics Competition, visit www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc.
For more information about NASA Robotics Alliance Project, visit robotics.nasa.gov.
To learn more about NASA Glenn, visit www.nasa.gov/glenn.