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FIRST in Michigan State Championship to Welcome Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Preliminary rounds begin Thursday evening, Final rounds Saturday afternoon at Eastern Michigan University
April 10, 2013 – The culmination of 206 teams competing in 11 district tournaments around the state the past six weekends comes together this week at the FIRST in Michigan State Championship at the Convocation Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan.

FIRST Robotics is not a traditional sporting event and it’s certainly not a rock concert – but it looks and sounds like both. That’s the way many people describe the crazy, competitive, highly-educational and all-out fun of the FIRST Robotics Competition, what many also refer to as the varsity sport of the mind.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 11 followed by first round matches running until 7:30 p.m. Preliminary rounds continue all day Friday and beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The Finals are scheduled for 1:30 that afternoon. The tournament is free and open to the public each day.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is active in more than 35 percent of all Michigan high schools, making the Great Lakes State one of the highest participation rates in the country. The organization focuses on creating a high-energy environment that allows adult professional mentors to work side by side with high school students to show how much fun engineering, math, science and technology can be for a career choice. More than $16 million in college scholarships are available exclusively for FIRST students in 2013.

“The growth of FIRST Robotics teams at all levels is very encouraging for our state, and to surpass the team participation levels of some traditional, established high school sports teams is a great indicator of schools recognizing the needs of pursuing STEM-related programs,” said Francois Castaing, Chairman of the FIRST in Michigan Board. “Programs like FIRST Robotics are the starting point for rebuilding the skilled workforce and economic engine drivers we need as these students will be filling the jobs pipeline soon.”

The 2013 competition requires teams to play ultimate Frisbee with machines they design and build over a short six-week period. Teams earn extra points if their robots can climb a ladder-like tower and score the Frisbee into the goal at the top. All teams learned what the 2013 game would be for the first time the first Saturday in January during a national simulcast, then had just a little more than six weeks to create a competitive robot.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is scheduled to attend the fired-up competition Saturday, having graciously accepted an invitation of special event sponsor Robert Bosch LLC.

“Governor Snyder will share his perspective on the 3Cs: Creation, Collaboration and Connectivity,” said Charlie Ackerman, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Robert Bosch LLC. “Gov. Snyder’s approach to fostering STEM education among students, parents, industry, government and academia is essential to preparing the workforce of tomorrow, today. At Bosch, we believe that for many students, the spark of learning is ignited in adult- mentored activities like FIRST. As adults – that’s parents, teachers, industry, government and academic leaders – support students throughout their academic careers, we help create a passion for lifelong learning in STEM-related areas that not only enrich the individual, but also create meaningful careers that afford a good quality of life for those who pursue them.”

At the FIRST State Championship, 64 high school teams from all areas of the state will be aiming for a state title in the FISRT tradition of three-team alliances. FIRST alliances are an integral part of the organization’s “Gracious Professionalism” mantra that imparts teamwork, inspirational thinking, problem-solving and group growth rather than a win-at-all-costs focus.

“While FIRST is all about Gracious Professionalism, no one watching the action will doubt the students’ passion, competitive spirit and desire to perform at a top level,” Castaing said. “This year’s game was one of the most challenging in many years and required even more design brainstorming than has been needed in the past. I am inspired from witnessing the engineering marvels and creativity our talented Michigan students came up with this year.”

2013 District events that teams competed at are listed below, with the winning three-team alliance at each site:

- Kettering University District (Flint)
- Goodrich, Plymouth-Canton, Bishop Foley
- Traverse City Central HS District
- Newaygo Co., SW Michigan College, Manistique
- Gull Lake HS District
- Hopkins, Dexter, Monroe Co. CC
- Waterford Mott HS District
- Macomb Academy A&S, Notre Dame Prep, Cardinal Mooney
- Detroit District, Centerline HS
- Bloomfield Intl. Academy, Utica Community, Ecorse
- St. Joseph HS District
- Coloma, SW Michigan College, Calumet
- West Michigan District, Grand Valley State
- Plymouth-Canton, Hopkins, GR Creston
- Grand Blanc HS District
- Notre Dame Prep, Macomb Academy A&S, Berkley
- Livonia Churchill HS District
- South Lyon, Farmington, Monroe Jefferson
- Troy Athens HS District
- Bloomfield Intl. Academy, Rochester Adams, Boyne City
- Temperance Bedford HS District
- Notre Dame Prep, Bloomfield Intl. Academy, GR Creston

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 the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League for children 9 to14 years old (FLL), and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

FIRST Robotics 2013 - April 2013


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