Robots to Rack `N Roll Sept. 22

Aug 10, 2007

36 teams will invade the Rec Center for the 8th annual Kettering Kickoff high school robotics competition

For the first time in the history of Kettering's popular high school robotics competition - the Kettering Kickoff has filled all 36 team slots and has a wait list! The 8th Kettering Kickoff will rock Kettering's Recreation Center on Saturday, Sept. 22, when 36 teams of high school students and their mentors will jam to loud music and amaze the crowd with their skills in technology and engineering during the popular robotics competition.

The 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. event is free and open to the public and is part of the national FIRST effort -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST helps high school-aged students discover how interesting, fun and rewarding science and engineering can be. "It's a lot like a sporting event," said Bob Nichols, Kettering's director of External Affairs and founder of the Kettering Kickoff. "We have become one of the top events to go to in high school robotics."

Thirty-six teams from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, New York and Canada will compete at Kettering with the hopes that their team has what it takes to stop their competitors--in a friendly manner, of course. One of the most exciting aspects of the Kettering Kickoff is the alliances that are built between various teams. As robots claim a role of defense or offense, how the competition plays out is often surprising. This year the challenge for students was to program their robots to place inner tubes on racks (Rack 'N Roll!).

 The Kettering Kickoff helps this season's robotics teams "kick off" their new competition year. Teams use the 2006-07 robot to help organize their new team and build camaraderie for upcoming national competitions. "Students participating in the Kettering Kickoff are mentored by teachers, engineers and volunteers," Nichols explained, adding that, "participants work hard for this event and spend a lot of time raising money."

"The Kettering Kickoff is a great use of the FIRST program. Kettering is a great place for these students, who have tackled large projects and built devices which actually work. They are practical types and well suited for Kettering."
Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple Computers; National judge for FIRST Robotics; Kettering Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree, 2005


The 8th annual Kettering Kickoff is hosted by:
Team 70, Kettering/Goodrich More Martians
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 1322, The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons
Team 1506, Kettering University Metal Muscle

Kettering Kickoff 2007 Participating Teams:
Team 1, Juggernauts, Pontiac, Mich.
Team 5, Robocards, Allen Park, Mich.
Team 27, Team Rush, Clarkston, Mich.
Team 33, Killer Bees, Auburn Hills, Mich.
Team 47, Chief Delphi, Pontiac, Mich.
Team 48, Delphi ELITE, Warren, Ohio
Team 67, HOT (Heroes of Tomorrow), Milford, Mich.
Team 70, More Martians, Goodrich, Mich.
Team 85, BOB (Built on Brains), Zeeland, Mich.
Team 141, Wobots, Holland, Mich.
Team 217, Thunder Chickens, Utica, Mich.
Team 226, TECCREW Hammerheads, Troy, Mich.
Team 314, Carman-Ainsworth Megatron Oracles, Flint, Mich.
Team 322, F.I.R.E., Flint, Mich.
Team 326, Xtreme, New Boston, Mich.
Team 379, Robocats, Girard, Ohio
Team 397, Knight Riders, Flint, Mich.
Team 447, Team Roboto, Anderson, Ind.
Team 468, Baker College Explorers, Flint, Mich.
Team 469, Las Guerrillas, Troy, Mich.
Team 470, Alpha Omega Robotics, Ypsilanti, Mich.
Team 494, Martians, Goodrich, Mich.
Team 503, Frog Force, Novi, Mich.
Team 703, Phoenix Saginaw Career Complex, Saginaw, Mich.
Team 815, Advanced Power, Allen Park, Mich.
Team 818, Genesis, Warren, Mich.
Team 910, Foley?s Freeze, Madison Heights, Mich.
Team 1075, Sinclair Sprockets, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Team 1189, The Gearheads, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Team 1243, Swartz Creek Dragons, Flint, Mich.
Team 1322, The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons, Fenton, Mich.
Team 1506, Kettering/Oakland County Schools Metal Muscle, Clarkston, Mich.
Team 1567, Shock-a-Bots, Rochester, N.Y.
Team 1783, Ogemaw Heights Firebots, West Branch, Mich.
Team 2137, Oxford FIRST Robotics, Oxford, Mich.
Team 2145, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, Mich.

After all the hard work and rounds of competitions on Sept. 22, Kettering will present a variety of skill and spirit awards to competing teams.

To learn more about the Kettering Kickoff, contact Bob Nichols at 810.762.9828.

Written by Pat Mroczek and Andrea Beaudoin
(810) 762-9533