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roboticsMore than 400 high school students from Tennessee and neighboring states will receive kits containing motors, batteries, a control system, and automation components—but no instructions on what to do with the parts. Their goal will be to design and build robots to meet the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition engineering challenge.

The event will be held 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, in the Cox Auditorium of the Alumni Memorial Building. Parking is available for a fee at Volunteer Hall across Cumberland Avenue.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that challenges high school students, working alongside professional mentors, to design and build a robot of their own. Called the “Sport for the Mind,” the competition measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and gracious professionalism.

After receiving their kits, the students will have six weeks to design and build robots to compete in the Smoky Mountains Regional Event March 27–29, 2014, at the Knoxville Convention Center for a chance to compete in the national championship in April in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 2014 season includes an estimated 2,850 teams participating in ninety-two cities worldwide. For more information on the competition, visit the NASA Robotics Alliance Project or NASA TV.

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. For more information, visit the FIRST website.

C O N T A C T :

LaJean Robinson (865-388-5708)

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,