Students Learn Problem Solving and Teamwork in Addition to Designing and Building Robots by Working with Professional Mentors to participate at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, April 8-9, at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center in College Park, MD.

COLLEGE PARK, MD, APRIL 4, 2016 ― High-school students from 2 states and Washington DC metropolitan-area schools will showcase their hard work after an intense 6 weeks of designing and building an original robot in the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (www.firstinspires.org). This week, at the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center, 58 teams of students and engineering and technical Mentors will demonstrate their science, mathematics, and technology skills. They will compete for honors and recognition that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and communities. The FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton is free and open to the public. Attractions include exciting robotics competitions, hands-on STEM-based activities for families, information about starting a FIRST robotics team, and 2 FIRST LEGO League Expos (Saturday only).

Based upon a sports competition model, teams are given a new game – or challenge – each year. In this year’s challenge, FIRST STRONGHOLDSM, 2 Alliances of 3 robots each are on a Quest to breach their opponents’ fortifications, weaken their tower with boulders, and capture the opposing tower. Robots score points by breaching opponents’ defenses and scoring boulders through goals in the opposing tower. During the final 20 seconds of the Quest, robots may surround and scale the opposing tower to capture it. “This year’s challenge is one of the most action-packed competitions we’ve seen in years”, said Stan Southworth, Executive Director of FIRST Chesapeake. “We invite the public to join us for 2 days of exciting competitions, alliances, interactive activities, expos, while learning more about how FIRST is helping to build tomorrow’s technology leaders.”

Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, who introduced the IBOT Mobility System and the Segway® Human Transporter (HT), FIRST was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools, and their communities. The FIRST Robotics Competition anticipates over 3,100 teams in the U.S. and 24 countries worldwide to compete in 53 Regional Events and 65 District Events. More than 1,600 students will compete in this week’s event to earn a spot at the World Championship to be held April 27-30 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.


FIRST isn’t about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country,” said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development and FIRST Founder, adding, “There is no stimulus package that will have as much return as stimulating a bunch of kids to become the workforce of the future, the problem solvers, the creators of the future. As a Strategic Partner with FIRST, Booz Allen Hamilton is the Title Sponsor for the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship.


Over a six-week timeframe, students work with professional engineering Mentors to design a robot that solves a problem using a Kit of Parts and a standard set of rules. Once these young inventors create the robot, their teams participate in regional competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students. This season, participating FIRST students are eligible to apply for more than $25 million in scholarships.


FIRST Chesapeake District Championship Sponsors come from some of the most highly regarded organizations in the area. The Title Sponsor for the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship is Booz Allen Hamilton. Other major sponsors include NASA, Qualcomm, Bechtel, Showbest Fixtures and Newport News Shipbuilding. Click here for a complete list of sponsors. Sponsors provide resources including time and talent from professional Mentors, services, equipment, financial contributions, and Volunteers.


About FIRST® 
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 over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST® Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST® LEGO® League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. for Grades K-3. 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 www.firstinspires.org



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