2005 Kettering Kickoff is Sept. 17

Sep 1, 2005

Tomorrow's engineers will test their skills during the Sixth Annual Kettering Kickoff on Sept. 17, a high school robotics contest.

The 2005 Kettering Kickoff, a high school robotics competition, is set for Saturday, Sept. 17. The loud and colorful event will be in Kettering's Connie and Jim John Recreation Center.

"2005 is shaping up to be the biggest Kettering Kickoff ever," said Bob Nichols, founder of the event and vice president for Corporate Relations and Enrollment Services. "We will have 32 teams, the largest Kettering Kickoff in our history. Many of the teams participating this year will be new to the event - so there will be lots of new talent to showcase."

The Kettering Kickoff features robots built by high school students and their engineering mentors. The high school robotics competition is affiliated with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology. The event is a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers.

The event is free and open to the public.

Nichols said the Kettering Kickoff serves as an organizing event to "kick off" the start of the 2006 competition season but still using the game, rules and robots of the 2005 FIRST national competition.

The day's schedule includes:
opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.,
followed by seeding matches until mid-day,
a lunch break and an afternoon of elimination rounds,
tournament championship rounds are between 3:30 and 5 p.m.

Most of the teams are from Michigan, with the Shock-abots coming from Rochester, N.Y., and Tech Fusion from Toledo, Ohio. So far, this year's team entries are:

Team, Team #, Location:

Team Rush, #27, Ortonville, Mich.
Killers Bees,#33,Auburn Hills, Mich.
Chief Delphi, Pontiac Central High School, #47, Pontiac, Mich.
Buena Vista Dow Knights, #49, Saginaw, Mich.
BOB (Built on Brains), #85, Zeeland, Mich.
Thunderchickens, #217, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Hammerheads, #226, Troy, Mich.
Tech Fusion, #279, Toledo, Ohio
Megatron Oracles, Carman-Ainsworth High School, #314, Flint, Mich.
F.I.R.E. Team, #322, Flint Schools, Flint, Mich.
Delphi Knight Riders, #397, Flint Southwestern Academy,
Baker College Explorers, #468, Flint, Mich.
Martians, Goodrich High School, #494, Goodrich, Mich.
Phoenix, Saginaw Career Complex, Team #703, Saginaw, Mich.
Delphi Demons, #858, Wyoming, Mich.
Advanced Power, #815, Allen Park, Mich.
Oaktown Crewz, Dondero High School, #1188, Royal Oak, Mich.
The Gearheads, #1189, Gross Pointe, Mich.
Friends of 1213, #1213, Waterford, Mich.
Swartz Creek Dragons, #1243, Swartz Creek, Mich.
The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons, #1322, Fenton, Mich.
BIG Spartan Robotics, #1504, East Lansing, Mich.
Metal Muscle, #1506, Clarkston, Mich.
The Shock-abots, #1567, Rochester, N.Y.
Eagles, Lapeer East High School, #1694, Lapeer, Mich.

And the newest additions:
Robocards, #5, Melvindale High School, Melvindale, Mich.
Huskies,#65, Washington, Mich.
The HOT Team, #67, Huron Valley (Mich.) Schools and GM
Team Roboto, #447, Anderson, Ind.
Frog Force, #503, Novi, Mich.
Armadillos, #818, Warren Consolidated Schools, Warren, Mich.
Powers Chargers, #894, Powers Catholic High School, Flint, Mich.

The 2005 event is hosted by Kettering University and Team 49 Buena Vista Dow Knights; Team 70 Auto City Bandits; Team 217 Thunderchickens; Team 314 Carman-Ainsworth Megatron Oracles; Team 322 Flint Schools F.I.R.E Team; Team 397 Southwestern Academy Delphi Knight Riders; Team 468 Baker College Explorers; Team 494 Goodrich Martians; Team 1243 Swartz Creek Dragons and Team 1322 The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons.

For more information on Kettering Kickoff, email Sally Hicks at shicks@kettering.edu.

The Kettering Kickoff began in the fall of 2000. Delphi Automotive had helped start a group of teams in the Flint area. Kettering University joined those teams in supporting FIRST at a number of levels. Besides sponsoring one team, Kettering had seen that the commitment level of students in FIRST would lead to excellent scholars and began offering a FIRST Scholarship for those outstanding participants. Supporters in the Flint area wished to have an activity that would show off their robots, schools, and accomplishments to the local community. They decided that a competition between teams using the robot from the previous year would be a great start for the FIRST season. Twenty-one teams from the region and as far away as South Carolina met at Kettering for the first Kettering Kickoff. The winners in the initial year were: Truck Town Terror, Delphi Knights, and TeamMACOMB.

The Second Annual Kettering Kickoff was Sept 22, 2001, with 20 teams participating. The top seed was The Killer Bees from Auburn Hills. GM CreW, TEAM Macomb, and Flint Community School's F.I.R.E. were selected Top Dog. Other awards went to Robocards for Team Work, Truck Town Terror forRobot Design Excellence, Robotic Knights for The Spirit of FIRST and Truck TownTerror, Auto City Bandits and GM CreW for the Best Match.

The Third Annual Kettering Kickoff was Sept 21, 2002, with 18 teams participating. F.I.R.E., along with Knight Riders and Robotic Knights were Top Dog. The other awards: Robot Design Award - Killer Bees; Teamwork Award - Truck Town Terror; Image Award -- Thunder Chickens and Spirit of FIRST Award -- Chief Delphi.

The Fourth Annual Kettering Kickoff was Sept. 20, 2003, with 25 teams participating. Three Detroit area high school robotics team were the first-place alliance winners: Killer Bees, Notre Dame Preparatory, Auburn Hills, Team 33, Truck Town Thunder, North Oakland County Schools, Auburn Hills, Team 68, Genesis 02, Warren Consolidated Schools, Team 818. The second-place winners were a three-team alliance of Goodrich Martians, Goodrich High School, Team 494, Bishop Foley Catholic High School, Madison Heights, Team 910, Grobots, Groves High School, Beverly Hills, Team 1213.

The Fifth Annual Kettering Kickoff was Sept. 18, 2004, with 26 teams competing. The 2004 National Champions Goodrich Martians (Team 494) shared the top honors by winning the 2004 event. The Martians led an alliance with Las Guerrillas (Team 469) from Bloomfield Hills and Techno Gremlins (Team 1227) from Grand Rapids to win. Taking second place honors was an alliance of Swartz Creek Dragons (Team 1243) from Swartz Creek, Team Rush (Team 27) from Clarkston, and BOB (Built on Brains) (Team 85) from Zeeland. OTHER AWARDS in 2005: Team Rush (Team 27) from Clarkston received the #1 Seed Award. The Top Score Award was presented to the Killer Bees (Team 33) from Auburn Hills and the Saginaw Career Complex (Team 703) from Saginaw. The Robot Design Excellence Award was presented to BOB (Built on Brains) (Team 85) from Zeeland. Chief Delphi from Pontiac Central High School (Team 47) won theSpirit of FIRST Award. One special presentation was made during closing ceremonies. Kettering's Sally Hicks, executive secretary in Enrollment Management, was givenan Outstanding Service Award for her dedication and ongoing helpfulness to the annual contest.

Click on this link for more on the national effort of FIRST.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533