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Students Bring their Custom-Built Robots and Team Spirit to the Largest Sport for the Mind™ Showdown
More than 18,000 students (ages 6 to 18) from around the globe traveled to St. Louis, Mo., from April 22-25, 2015 and put their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at various venues throughout the city. The four-day event came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of a roaring crowd of more than 40,000 when four teams from League City, Tex., and Davis, Clovis, and Palmdale, Calif., of the Newtown subdivision, won the coveted FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) Championship Winning Alliance. In this year’s recycling-themed game, Recycle Rush™, FRC teams took to the field, where competing alliances scored points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recycled by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.
Among the participants, many U.S. and international FIRST student robotics teams earned honors for design excellence, competitive play, research, business plans, website design, teamwork, and partnerships.
More than 900 teams from 40 countries competed in the four FIRST programs: FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®, grades 4-8, ages 9-14 in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico; ages 9 to 16 outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico); FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®, grades 7-12, ages 12 to 18); and FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®, grades 9-12, ages 14 to 18). In addition to the high-energy robotics machines, 60 teams of 6 to 9 year olds participated in the Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®, grades K-3) World Festival Expo.
Qualcomm is the 2015 FIRST Championship presenting sponsor. Championship program sponsors include Energizer Holdings, Inc.; FedEx Corp.; Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD); Google; Monsanto; NRG Energy; U.S. Air Force; and United Technologies Corp. (UTC). Other sponsors include Abbott Fund; Bechtel Corp.; The Boeing Corp.; BOSCH; The Coca-Cola Co.; Comcast NBCUniversal; The Dow Chemical Co.; Dr. William H. Danforth; Edward Jones Foundation; I Am Jane; INCOSE; Microsoft Corp.; Mouser Electronics; Nidec Motor Corp.; NVIDIA; Rockwell Automation; Scottrade Inc.; Southwest Airlines; SpaceX; St. Louis Regional Chamber; Trio Foundation of St. Louis; UL; Vulcan Spring & Manufacturing Co.; and Wells Fargo Advisors.
Upcoming FIRST Championships:
2016: St. Louis (April 27-30)
2017: Houston (April 19-22) and St. Louis (April 26-29)
2018: Houston (April 18-21) and Detroit (April 25-28)