2010 New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition Gears Up March 6 & 7

Annual Competition Inspires High School Students to Pursue Science, Technology and Engineering Careers

TRENTON, N.J., March 4 — (PRNewswire) — Breaking away from conventional classrooms, high school students from all over New Jersey will meet March 6-7 for a lively test of their technological know-how. The 14th annual New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition taking place at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton features 61 teams of high school students, along with the robots they designed and built, facing off in a game called "Breakaway."  

The New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on March 6 and to 5:00 p.m. on March 7.  Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, the New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition will involve approximately 2,000 students throughout the state as well as from Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Texas, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

FIRST, "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," involves more than outscoring opponents in a game. Teams are also judged on design, team spirit, professionalism and ability to overcome problems.  To successfully compete in FIRST, teams must function as entrepreneurs, creating business plans, raising funds, marketing and managing the project.  

Established by renowned inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST is intended to spark an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Since its inception in 1989, FIRST has grown into an international movement with a wide following.

"The anticipation and thrill of the competition is exciting, but FIRST also teaches participants how to solve real world issues using a process of preparation and teamwork they will use throughout their lives," said Donald Bowers, regional director, New Jersey/Pennsylvania FIRST. "The FIRST program has created an exciting and challenging platform for exposing young people to environments, relationships and academic fields that can inspire them to pursue technology-related careers."

Each year the FIRST organization selects a new theme for the game to be played in the regional contests and championship. This year's game, "Breakaway," will involve two alliances of three teams each competing on a field with bumps, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in their goals. Robots may not possess more than one ball at a time, but they may herd and kick multiple balls at a time. Balls must remain in contact with the floor while in the robot's possession. Additional bonus points are earned for each robot that is not touching the field (by lifting onto a platform or being suspended in the air) at the end of the match.

Six weeks ahead of the FIRST contest season, registered teams receive kits containing parts needed to construct the machines but no other instructions. Working with adult mentors, the students design, build and program their robots to meet the game's engineering specifications. Through the process, they learn how to collaborate and focus on tasks to turn out an effective product.

Internationally, the 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition season will include more than 1,800 teams, 278 of which are first time entrants.  Over 45,000 high-school students will participate in 50 regional and district events, culminating in a national championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 15 – 17th.  

New Jersey FIRST gratefully acknowledges the long-standing support of Johnson & Johnson as its sponsor. The 2010 competition marks the 14th straight year of Johnson & Johnson's leadership support. Other New Jersey FIRST sponsors are ADP, Bloomberg, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Lockheed Martin, National Defense Education Program/Picatinny Arsenal, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Josh and Judy Weston and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

New Jersey FIRST is based at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. For more information visit www.nycnjfirst.org.


New Jersey FIRST
14th annual New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition
Jose Chavarro, Rosica Public Relations
Phone: +1-201-843-5600
Mobile: +1-973-768-8369
Email Contact
Web: http://www.nycnjfirst.org

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