Huntington, Ind.—Jan. 6, Huntington University will host the FIRST Robotics Competition annual kick-off ceremony. The much-anticipated NASA satellite broadcast will reveal this year's top-secret challenge and rally our local Huntington Robotics Team for the 2007 competition season.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national initiative (partly funded by NASA) to engage students in "a varsity sport of the mind." The organization involves 132,000 students of all ages from 7 countries. FIRST is best known for attracting students interested in mathematics, computer science and engineering, but the local clubs also involve students interested in animation, art, business management, finance, and much more.
As their Web site explains, "The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard 'kit of parts' and a common set of rules." With guidance from local engineers (and healthy local financial support), student teams build robots and enter them in a series of regional and national competitions. In our area, FIRST competitions take place in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Last year, the 4H - Huntington North High School Huntington Robotics team was part of the second-place coalition at the Boilermaker regional tournament.