MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Carolina Martinez (818) 354-9382
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2001
REGIONAL WINNERS NAMED IN STUDENT-BUILT ROBOT COMPETITION
Last weekend, students from Southern California, Central
California and Arizona had the opportunity to rub metal, burn
rubber and duke it out against the world's finest student-
built robots during a regional competition held March 15-17 at
the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
The robots took part in the FIRST (For Inspiration and
Recognition of Science and Technology) Southern California
Regional Competition, where 47 robots and nearly 2,000 high
school students engaged in all the thrills of competition.
FIRST is a non-profit organization whose mission is to
generate an interest in science and technology.
"This program pulls the blinds up and kids are exposed to
other careers they may not have considered before. The
students learn a valuable lesson: to work as a team toward a
common goal," said Rob Steele, robotics engineer at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and mentor to the
student team at Hope Chapel Academy, Hermosa Beach, Calif..
"In some respects, it's like working on a mission, where each
person works on one part or component toward one common goal:
mission success. In this case, the teams formed an alliance and all five robots worked
together to get the job done."
The championship team alliance is:
Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, Calif.
Hamilton High School, Chandler, Ariz.
Hope Chapel Academy, Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Union High
School, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Newbridge High School, Los Angeles
The regional is one of 13 competitions around the country
in which more than 530 teams will compete in a national
robotics competition at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in
Orlando, Fla., April 5-7.
Nationwide, NASA has awarded 100 sponsorships to high
schools and locally, JPL has awarded 24 teams with
sponsorships to help competitors in the Southern California
regional contest. Results are at
The following 10 JPL-sponsored teams took awards at the
regional competition (all are in California unless otherwise
- Team Spirit: Cactus High School, Glendale, Ariz.
- Sportsmanship: South High School, Bakersfield
- Leadership in Control: Van Nuys High School, Van Nuys
- Highest Rookie Seed: Granada Hills High School, Granada Hills
- Rookie All-Star: Hart High School, Newhall
- Rookie All-Star:King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles
- "It Takes Heart" Judge's Award: Dorsey High School, Los Angeles
- Regional Finalists:
South High School, Bakersfield
Taft High School, Woodland Hills
Hope Chapel Academy, Hermosa Beach
JPL is sponsoring three teams to go to the nationals:
Hope Chapel Academy, Hermosa Beach; Archer School for Girls
and King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, both
in Los Angeles.
More information on FIRST is available at:
Managed for NASA by the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena, JPL is the lead U.S. center for
robotic exploration of the solar system.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Live satellite interviews are available with
Shonte Wright, thermal engineer at JPL and FIRST robotics team
mentor on Wed., March 21. To book time for this interview,
call Jack Dawson at 818-354-0040 or e-mail Jack at
A video file with animation and B-roll will accompany this
release and is scheduled to air on NASA Television on March
20, 21, 22 at 9 a.m., noon, 3, 6 and 9 p.m. EST. NASA
Television is available at GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees
West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on
3880.0 megahertz with audio on 6.8 megahertz.