FIRST Robotics is Sept. 19

Aug 28, 2009

The 10th annual Kettering Kickoff robotics competition for high school teams is Saturday, Sept. 19, in Kettering University Recreation Center. It's free and it's Lunacy!

10th Kettering Kickoff Robotics contest is Saturday, Sept. 19 

Ten years.  It’s been 10 years since the loud music and large crowds of the Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics Competition hit campus a decade ago. 

It’s been noisy, busy and incredibly competitive, said Kettering Kickoff Founder Bob Nichols, Kettering’s director of External Affairs. “And 10 years of bringing highly motivated high school students to our campus.” 

Nichols said this year’s 10th anniversary event Saturday, Sept. 19, will be lunacy!  “This year’s game is called Lunacy, in honor of the 40th anniversary of the first lunar walk on the moon in 1969.  So we like to quip: ‘10 years at Kettering is Lunacy,’” Nichols said, chuckled.  “It’s been 10 years of FIRST fun.” 

Forty-two teams from Canada, Michigan and Ohio are expected to compete at the 10th anniversary Kettering Kickoff in the University’s Recreation Center.  The event is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Many of Michigan’s best high school robotics teams will compete, including:
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 68, Truck Town Thunder, Ortonville, Mich.
Team 70, More Martians, Goodrich, Mich.
Team 107, Team R.O.B.O.T.I.C.S., Holland, Mich.
Team 217, ThunderChickens, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Team 247, Dabears, Berkley, Mich.
Team 302, Dragons, Lake Orion, Mich.
Team 314, Megatron Oracles, Flint, Mich.
Team 322, F.I.R.E., Flint, Mich.
Team 326, Xtreme Eagles, Romulus, Mich.
Team 397, Knight Riders, Flint, Mich.
Team 468, Baker Explorers, Flint, Mich.
Team 469, Las Guerrillas, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Team 494, Martians, Goodrich, Mich.
Team 503, Frog Force, Novi, Mich.
Team 548, Robostangs, Northville, Mich.
Team 703, Team Phoenix, Saginaw, Mich.
Team 815, Advanced Power, Allen Park, Mich.
Team 862, Lightning Robotics, Canton, Mich.
Team 894, Powers Chargers, Flint, Mich.
Team 910, Foley Freeze, Madison Heights, Mich.
Team 1075, Sinclair Sprockets, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Team 1189, Gearheads, Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Team 1243, Dragons, Swartz Creek, Mich.
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons, Fenton, Mich.
Team 1504, The Desperate Penguins, Okemos, Mich.
Team 1506, Metal Muscle, Flint, Mich.
Team 1718, The Fighting Pi, Armada, Mich.
Team 1783, Firebots, West Branch, Mich.
Team 1856, Gearheads, Redford, Mich.
Team 2137, The Oxford RoboCats, Oxford, Mich.
Team 2145, HAZMATs, Lake Fenton, Mich.
Team 2337, EngiNERDS, Grand Blanc, Mich.
Team 2604, Metal & Soul, Capac, Mich.
Team 2612, The Syntax Errors, Waterford, Mich.
Team 2619, The Charge, Midland, Mich.
Team 2851, Crevolution, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Team 3096, Finney Highlanders, Detroit, Mich. 

“We’re able to host this wonderful event because of the incredible support we get from our volunteer teams that have taken a large and complex contest and turned it into magical FIRST fun for tomorrow’s engineers and scientists,” Nichols continued. 

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.  Michigan is tops among the “big states” for team participation in FIRST.  Almost one-third of Michigan high 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.”  

The 10th 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 494, Goodrich Martians; Team 1243 Swartz Creek Dragons; Team 1322, The G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons; Team 1506, Kettering University Metal Muscle; Team 2337 Grand Blanc Enginerds; and Kettering University. 

For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit: and to see websites of the registered teams competing in the Kettering Kickoff, visit: 

Written by Patricia Mroczek