March 04, 2010
WASHINGTON -- NASA, in cooperation with local technology firms and sponsors, launches a nationwide series of high school robotics competitions that begin March 5 and 6 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place N.W., in Washington. The two-day event runs daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. It is free and open to the public. NASA Television will carry opening ceremonies starting at 9 a.m. EST (6 a.m. PST) March 5.
The student competition is called "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," or FIRST. The program was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities.
Fifty-eight high school teams will compete in the 19th season of the Los Angeles regional FIRST Robotics Competition on March 26 and 27 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
NASA is the largest sponsor of the international program. For the next several weeks, 44 regional competitions will be held in 30 states and the District of Columbia. NASA's centers will sponsor and support 13 competitions in California, Ohio, Maryland, Arizona, Louisiana, Virginia, Nevada, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. The FIRST Championship competitions will take place in Atlanta in April.
Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST is a non-profit organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue academic opportunities. The regional competitions also will include participation from several high schools teams, showcasing their inventions in Baltimore March11 to13 and Richmond, Va., March 18 to 20.
More information about the District competition is at: http://www.dc-first.org. Information about FIRST and regional competitions across the nation is at: http://www.usfirst.org. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
Jane Platt 818-354-0880
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726