FIRST® Teams Bring Robots to Life in Annual FIRST Robotics Competition in Washington DC

63 student teams from around the country meet in Nation’s Capital March 25-26

Video - Looking Back at 2010's Competition

WASHINGTON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 25, 2011 — Students on more than 60 high school teams representing 10 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are bringing robots to the Nation’s Capital March 25-26 to compete in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Washington DC Regional.

“It’s not just about robots,” said FIRST founder Dean Kamen. “It’s about building self-confidence, respect and important relationships with people who invent new technologies to make a better future.”

The student teams - plus engineers, teachers and mentors – are gathering at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC to compete in this year’s FIRST Challenge, called “LOGO MOTION™.” Working with volunteer adult mentors, FRC teams had just six weeks from the kick-off to develop a strategy, to program, build, and test their robots to meet this season’s engineering challenge. LOGO MOTION challenges two alliances of three teams to compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with poles, attempting to earn points by hanging as many triangle, circle and square logo pieces as possible. Bonus points are earned for each robot that can hang and assemble logo pieces to form the FIRST logo. Robots can also deploy Mini-Bots to climb vertical poles for a chance to earn additional points.

In addition, National Defense Education Program (NDEP) is hosting Technology Row for corporate sponsors and university partners to showcase their latest in technology and research. The goal is to show students that what they are doing on a FIRST team is relevant to real world applications.

The DC Regional is one of more than 50 similar events held around the country during March and April. The DC Regional is free and open to the public. Best public viewing will be from 10 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26.

John Berry, Director of the U.S. office of Personnel Management, was on hand as the Competition got underway. As the Federal Government’s Chief “people person,” Berry is charged with recruiting knowledge workers to serve, protect and innovate for the American people. Programs that engage young Americans with science, technology, engineering and mathematics are vital to building the workforce the Federal Government needs.

In addition, D.C. Congressional Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton plans to attend the Competition on Saturday morning, and is expecting to make brief remarks to the participants at the Convention Center.

The DC Regional is one of three regional competitions organized through the FIRST National Capital Region, which coordinates FIRST activities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The National Capital Region is presented by sponsors BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin and NASA. To see a complete listing of sponsors for the National Capital Region and the DC Regional, click here.


Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC ) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to


Check out more VIDEOS showing FIRST in action here.

FIRST® and FRC® are registered trademarks, and Gracious Professionalismis a common law trademark, of the United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (U.S. FIRST). LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group.


Herb Muktarian, 703-638-2529
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Jim Babb, 804-380-1918
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