FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, officially launched its 2011/2012 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC® ) season with an online Kickoff event unveiling this year’s game, BOWLED OVER!™
The FIRST Tech Challenge, a widely-accessible high-school robotics program that promotes project-based learning, was recently featured on the ABC-TV Special, “I.am.FIRST: Science is Rock and Roll,” hosted by Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am.
The object of the game will be to design and build robots robust enough to push a bowling ball uphill, yet sophisticated enough to pick up racquetballs and place them into crates, and stack the crates to score points.
Research conducted by Brandeis University has shown that the FTC program delivers tangible results in motivating students to do better in school, learning more about science and technology, and increasing consideration of careers in STEM.
During the 2011/2012 FTC season, an estimated 2,100 FIRST Tech Challenge teams will compete in events in the U.S., Canada, China, India, Mexico, and the Netherlands, culminating at the FIRST Championship, April 25-28, 2012, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.