March 26, 2013
Sixty-five teams from Southern California, Hawaii and Chile competed in the Los Angeles regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition on March 22 and 23. JPL sponsored 12 schools in this annual engineering and technology contest, which was held at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Winning teams for the overall regional competition were from Milken Community High School, Los Angeles; Atascadero High School, Atascadero, Calif.; and Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta, Calif. Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, Calif., received the competition's highest award, the Regional Chairman's Award.
This year's "Ultimate Ascent" challenge was played between alliances consisting of three teams each, pitting robots against robots. Each alliance tried to score as many flying discs in its goals as possible during two-minute-and-15-second matches. Discs that hit higher goals scored more team points, and bonus points were awarded if robots could climb a 10-foot-high steel pyramid at the end of the match.
The participants were among more than 304,000 students from around the world vying to compete in the FIRST Championship to be held April 24-27 in St. Louis, Mo. FIRST is part of NASA's Robotics Alliance Project, which aims to expand the number of robotics systems experts available to NASA.
Courtney O'Connor 818-354-2274
Jet Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.