Thirty-nine of the state’s best FIRST Robotics high school teams will compete March 2-3 at the 2012 Kettering University FIRST Robotics District competition in Flint. All events are free and open to the public in Kettering’s Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, March 2, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 3.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national youth effort to inspire careers in engineering, science and technology.
This year’s game is Rebound Rumble, which will be played on a court 27 feet wide by 54 feet long. Four basketball scoring hoops, positioned at different heights, and three balancing bridges for robots are among the new game’s challenges. Robots will launch compact basketballs at the four hoops, as one way to achieve points.
Bob Nichols, director of Special Projects, said the district games at Kettering help teams qualify for further competition at state and national events. “These are our future engineers and scientists,” Nichols said. He noted that Kettering will attract up to 2,000 visitors to campus during the set-up and competition days.
“Gracious Professionalism and having fun are still the centerpieces of FIRST,” Nichols continued. “This year’s contest, Rebound Rumble, promises to provide good challenges for the elite teams and be a great introduction to FIRST Robotics for the rookies. FIRST is the only varsity sport where every participant goes pro,” he added.
Pat Major of Goodrich again chairs the organizing committee. Denise Denis, who is coordinating the new car display areas again this year, said Flint’s Applegate Dealership will show off Chevy products, including the new Sonic and Malibu. Patsy Lou’s Dealership will also provide GM products - Buick and GMC. “We'll have the all new Buick Verano on display,” Denis said. “The public will be able to drive the GMC and Buick models. Al Serra will be providing all the GM Cadillac products for our car showcase at FIRST Robotics,” she added.
Teams in the 2012 Kettering district are:
Team 33, Killer Bees from Auburn Hills
Team 51, Wings of Fire from Pontiac
Team 70, More Martians from Goodrich
Team 302, The Dragons from Lake Orion
Team 314, Big Mo from Flint
Team 322, FIRE from Flint
Team 326, Team Super Power Eagles from Romulus
Team 468, Aftershock from Flint/Flushing
Team 494, Martians from Goodrich
Team 703, Phoenix from Saginaw
Team 862, Lightning Robotics, from Plymouth/Canton
Team 894, Chargers from Flint
Team 1243, Dragons from Swartz Creek
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons from Fenton
Team 1502, Technical Difficulties from Chelsea
Team 1504, Desperate Penguins from Okemos
Team 1506, Kettering’s Metal Muscle from Genesee/Oakland Counties
Team 1684, Chimeras from Lapeer
Team 1701, RoboCubs from Detroit
Team 1711, Raptors from Traverse City
Team 2137, Robocats from Oxford
Team 2337, Enginerds from Grand Blanc
Team 2604, Metal & Soul from Capac
Team 2611, Jacktown Vectors from Jackson
Team 2627, Techies from Ann Arbor
Team 3302, Turbo Trojans from Clawson
Team 3322, Eagle Imperium from Ann Arbor
Team 3415, Rams from Montrose
Team 3421, Tachyon Techs from Marysville
Team 3534, House of Cards from Davison
Team 3535, Galak Tech Invaders from Attica
Team 3536, Electro Eagles from Hartland
Team 3537, Delta Force, Indian River
Team 3568, RoboEagles from Linden
Team 3601, Spartan Sprockets from Webberville
Team 3769, Droids from Detroit
Team 4294, StarTrec from Lansing
Team 4376, Raydernators from Charlevoix
Team 4382, SHS Trojans from Saginaw
Kettering’s district is one of 10 in Michigan in March, with the state championship in Ypsilanti April 12-14. The national championship is in St. Louis, Mo., April 25-28.
Directions and more information on Kettering’s District Games.