Sold out: 42 robots coming Sept. 20

Sep 4, 2008

The 2008 Kettering Kickoff high school robotics competition has 42 teams coming to Flint - an all-time high!!! The ninth annual contest is Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Rec Center. It's free and open to the public.

The Kettering Kickoff robotics competition has sold out!!  Forty-two teams from Canada, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio have signed up for the ninth annual high school robotics contest at Kettering University in Flint on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Michigan teams include Team Rush of Clarkston; Killer Bees of Bloomfield Hills; Chief Delphi of Pontiac; More Martians from Goodrich; Thunderchickens and Foley Freeze from Sterling Heights; Hammerheads of Troy; Da’Bears of Berkley; Xtreme of Romulus; Frog Force of Novi; Robostangs of Northville; Advanced Power of Allen Park; Lightning of Plymouth; The Gearheads of Grosse Pointe; RoboCats of Oxford, Syntax Errors of Waterford and, of course, Kettering’s Metal Muscle team and more!

 “We actually closed registration several weeks ago and we’re delighted that our annual robotics contest has become so incredibly popular here inMichigan,” said Kettering Kickoff FounderBob Nichols.  “There are currently two teams on the waiting list who are still hoping to participate in this year’s Kickoff.  It’s very encouraging that FIRST programs are growing in the current economy.  It’s a tribute to FIRST of Michigan and the leadership at area high schools, volunteers and corporate sponsors who are helping FIRST grow in this region.”

FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology.  FIRST robotics pits teams in a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers and teachers.  Michiganis tops among the “big states” for team participation in FIRST.  Almost one-third of Michiganhigh schools now have a FIRST robotics team as a varsity sport. 

Each year, the Kettering Kickoff helps high school teams "kick off" the start of their competition season by using the game, rules and robots of the previous year’s national competition. “The Kettering Kickoff was founded in 2000,” Nichols explained, “to give participants who are new to the sport an opportunity to build camaraderie with their new teammates and to work on developing their skills in a competitive environment.” This year’s Kettering Kickoff runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Connie andJamesJohnRecreationCenteratKetteringUniversityinFlint.  This event is free and open to the public.

The 9th 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; and Team 1506, Kettering University Metal Muscle.

For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit:

Written by Patricia Mroczek