Inventor Dean Kamen Will Be Joined by Luminaries to Help FIRST® Kick off its 20th Robotics Season

Best-Selling Author Neal Bascomb Will Explain How FIRST Has Become “The New Cool;” MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Teacher and Subject of Book Helps Launch the 2011 FIRST Season

Media Invited to Attend 70 Local Regional Kickoffs Worldwide As Teams Participate Through NASA-TV Global Broadcast Hookup & Webcast

(BUSINESS WIRE) — January 5, 2011FIRST:



FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) will be joined by public figures to launch the 20th season of the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) with a worldwide Kickoff event originating from Manchester, N.H.

-- The 2011 season will include an estimated 2,200 teams (over 45,000 high-school students) participating in 57 Regional and District events. All teams will be shown the 2011 robotics game field and challenge for the first time and will receive an exciting, new Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, and a mix of automation components – but no instructions. Teams will have six weeks to design and build robots to meet this year’s engineering challenge.

Dignitaries and public figures from across the nation will deliver remarks, including:
-- Hon. John Lynch, Governor of New Hampshire;

-- Walt P. Havenstein, Chairman, FIRST Board of Directors & CEO of SAIC;

-- Neal Bascomb, Author, “The New Cool;”

-- Amir Abo-Shaeer, Teacher and MacArthur Foundation Fellow (and subject of book on FIRST);

-- Robin Saitz, Senior Vice President Solutions Marketing and Communications, PTC;

-- Dr. Woodie Flowers, Chairman, FIRST Executive Advisory Board & Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, MIT;

-- Bill Miller, Director, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC);

-- Dave Lavery, Program Executive, NASA;

-- Jon Dudas, FIRST President;

-- Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research and Development Corp., and Founder, FIRST ; and

-- Special Guests


Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC ® ) is an annual competition that challenges high-school students – working alongside professional Mentors – to design and build a robot of their own, and compete in a ‘Sport for the Mind™’ that measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and Gracious Professionalism™. Students build and program their own robots against a field of competitors and experience the excitement of science, engineering, technology and innovation. .



Saturday, January 8, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Actual NASA Broadcast Start Time: 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time



Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester, N.H.

Remote teams will tune in via NASA-TV broadcast and Web cast from 70 local Kickoffs. To locate teams in your area, visit and click on the map in the top right corner. For a listing of local Kickoff locations, visit .


2011 FIRST Kickoff Event Locations:



AK, Anchorage

NC, Raleigh

AZ, Phoenix

ND, Fargo

CA, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San

NH, Manchester

Diego, San Jose

NJ, Newark, Skillman

CO, Denver

NV, Las Vegas

CT, Farmington

NY, Brooklyn, Rochester, Stony Brook

FL, Melbourne, Orlando, Plantation

OH, Cleveland, Columbus

GA, Atlanta

OK, Stillwater

HI, Honolulu

OR, Corvallis

ID, Idaho Falls

PA, Drexel Hill, Pittsburgh

IL, Chicago

SC, Charleston

IN, Indianapolis, West Lafayette

TN, Memphis, Knoxville

KS, Olathe

TX, Austin, El Paso, Houston, Plano, San

MA, Boston, Worcester


MD, Laurel

UT, West Valley City

MI, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids,

VA, Hampton, Richmond

Marquette, Novi, Traverse City

WA, Auburn, Cheney, Mountlake

MN, Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis, St.

Terrace, Vancouver


Washington, D.C.

MO, St. Louis

WI, Appleton, Pewaukee

MS, Stennis Space Center




ON, Toronto

QC, St-Laurent (Montreal)



Central Israel, Herzelia





Photo Opp.:

FIRST will unveil the details of the new robotics game at approximately 11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. ET



Digital photos of previous FIRST competitions are available at the Online FRC Photo Gallery found at:

-- Photos of event available by contacting Email Contact the day of the event.

-- Interviews for speakers available by contacting Cheryl Walsh at 978-407-8028 the day of the event.

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