MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Carolina Martinez (818) 354-9382

INTERNET ADVISORY March 14, 2001

       Tune in this Saturday to see 49 robots and their creators -- 2,000 high school students -- take over the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Complete with referees and cheering crowds, the student-built robots will duke it out and put on a show during a regional robotics competition sponsored by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

       Watch the students and their robots compete on NASA TV or on the Web during a live broadcast and webcast of the FIRST Southern California Regional Competition on Saturday, March 17 from the Los Angeles Sports Arena, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., PST (12 p.m. to 5 p.m., EST).

       The webcast can be accessed at

       http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/robotics

       The NASA TV schedule is available at

       http://www.nasa.gov/ntv/breaking.html

       Sponsored by NASA and JPL, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), is a non-profit organization whose mission is to generate an interest in science and technology through a robotics competition that provides hands-on activities, fosters teamwork and gives students access to engineers who help them build their own robots.

       NASA has awarded 100 sponsorships to high schools nationwide. Locally, JPL sponsors 24 of the 49 teams competing in the regionals March 15-17, and is paying for three schools to go all the way to the nationals in Florida. JPL has also provided mentor engineers to numerous high schools and volunteers who help run the event. Admission to the event is free (except for parking) and open to the public on Friday and Saturday.

       More information on this event is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/technology/robotics

       JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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03/14/01 CM
#2001-057