Idaho to Host Its First FIRST Regional Robotics Competition

BOISE, Idaho (October 1, 2015) — In March 2016, Idaho will hold its inaugural FIRST Regional Robotics Competition at Boise State’s Taco Bell Arena. This competition pits high school teams and their student-designed robots against each other in a fun and competitive robotic game.

“This is an accumulation of 10 years of effort by group of extremely dedicated people in the Boise area.” stated Richard Anderson, FIRST Regional Director for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. “STEM education is a passion for an area that supports global companies such as Micron, HP, POWER Engineers and  Plexus.”

FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” is a national organization founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen in Manchester, New Hampshire, to inspire young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The FIRST Robotics game changes every year, adding new levels of complexity and elements of surprise that best challenge today’s high school students.  Once the new game for 2016 is revealed during a FIRST kickoff celebration on January 9th, each team has six weeks to design, build and test their robot’s abilities to meet the demands of the game’s challenge.

“Every team receives an identical Kit of Parts, which includes a supply of motors, gears, software systems and other software and hardware equipment.” explains Amy Moll, Dean of Engineering at Boise State University. “Using their creativity, along with guidance from adult mentors, these high school students must work collaboratively to build a robot capable of achieving the game’s goals.”

This is Amy’s 5th year being involved in FIRST.

Dean Moll continues, “FIRST allows students the opportunity to engage in real science by designing, building and testing their own imagined creation of complex machinery.  Students benefit by developing the advanced skills needed for tomorrow’s workplace.  Not to mention, it’s really a lot of fun.”

Registration for the new Idaho FRC Regional will close November 23, 2015.  More than 45 teams and 1,500 students are expected to attend the multi-day educational event described as part competition, rock concert and sporting event.

Roseann Stevens, FIRST VP of Field Operations will be in Boise on October 8th to walk through the event venue, Taco Bell Arena, discuss logistics with the Idaho FRC Regional committee, and meet some of the Idaho robotics teams who will be participating in this inaugural competition.

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