An emcee gets the crowd pumped up as students prepare their robots for the competition

Soaring strains of the American and Chilean national anthems kicked off the 2014 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Los Angeles Regional Qualifier. Cheers from students of both nations erupted during the event's closing ceremonies, when it was revealed they would move on in competition.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., sponsored 10 teams from Southern California at this competition as part of NASA's Robotics Alliance Project. JPL also oversaw volunteer coordination for the event and provided 30 volunteer workers, including judges, referees, field re-setter and game announcer.

All 66 high school robotics teams competing in the L.A. qualifier, held March 21 and 22 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, Calif., were vying for spots at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships to be held in St. Louis, April 23-26.

Winning teams progressing to championships include:
- Team 2576, Chilean Heart--Corporacion Corazon Technologico y Cientifico de Chile
- Team 3309, Friarbots--Servite, Connelly and Rosary high schools, Anaheim, Calif.
- Team 4997, The Golden Machine--Long Beach Polytechnic and Woodrow Wilson High School, Long Beach, Calif.
- Team 1717, D'Penguineers--Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta, Calif.
- Team 5124, West Torrance Robotics--West Torrance High School, Torrance, Calif.
- Team 294, Beach Cities Robotics--Redondo Union and Mira Costa High Schools, Redondo Beach, Calif.

The 2014 challenge, "Aerial Assist," is played between two alliances of three teams each. Each alliance tries to score as many balls in goals as possible during a two-minute-and-30-second match. Additional points are earned by robots working together to score goals, and by throwing and catching balls over a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor as they move the ball down the field.

More information and a short video about FIRST are at:

Detailed match results and the complete list of award winners are available at:

More information on NASA's Robotics Alliance Project is at:

TAGS: FIRST Robotics, Team Competitions, Robotics