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FIRST Competition Begins with Battle among Young Teams

The FIRST Regional Competition has commenced with great cheers from a packed audience in the New York bleachers.

This event, which is usually held in the month of March is attended by 3,000 students from various schools in the area, along with some international participants, and goes on for the entire weekend. Students from high, middle and elementary schools come together for competing in any one of the four competitions, in which the FIRST Robotics is the biggest. The high school students were given a package consisting of robot components for constructing a robot in the month of January. This robot should be able to pick up and hang inflated tubes, and they were given six weeks to complete the robot.

According to James Schreiner, who acts as the coach of one of the teams, Brooklyn Blacksmiths, the time given to the participants was never sufficient and most of the time, adequate resources were also not available, thereby posing real world challenges to the competitors. Pat Daly, the NYC FIRST’s Regional Director commented that the program’s biggest USP and attraction was what the students learn outside the classrooms. According to her, the matter learnt in the classroom is very dry and dimensionless, whereas what they learn during the hands on sessions is not only fun but also full of valuable lessons in science and technology.

Neal Bascomb, the author of the ‘The New Cool’, a book based on a robotics team, has mentioned that this challenge resembled sports in many ways, with the same amount of inspiration and dedication. The participants who would win the competition this weekend would move on to the finals, which would be conducted in the last week of April in St. Louis. Time Warner Cable, which is the parent company of NY1, is bringing into prominence such kind of competitions to become a part of their Connect A Million Minds initiative. This initiative would motivate the launch of other such school programs to boost math and science learning.



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