Kettering awards $140,000 in FIRST scholarships

By Website Administrator | May 3, 2002

Kettering University was among the 300 teams at the national championships of FIRST in April -- the robotics contest that seeks to inspire curiosity and interest in science and technology among today's high school students.

Kettering University was among the 300 teams at the national championships of FIRST in April -- the robotics contest that seeks to inspire curiosity and interest in science and technology among today's high school students. FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- was founded by inventor Dean Kamen '01, creator of the Segway Human Transporter. Finals were at Disney World in Orlando April 25-27.

No mid-Michigan team, including Kettering's Auto City Bandits, qualified for the final rounds. But Kettering was front and center during the colorful scholarship ceremony, attended by 10,000 FIRST students and sponsors Saturday, April 27. Seven of the country's most talented science and technology students accepted Kettering's FIRST scholarship and were introduced to the large crowd. Kettering provides each student with $5,000 a year for four years, or $20,000 for each student, to attend Kettering.

Kettering's seven FIRST scholarship recipients this year are:
** Nicholas TenBrink of Goodrich, Mich., a student at Goodrich High School and member of Team 494.
** Kyle Shipp of Flint, a student at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint and a member of Team 314.
** Lakesha Macon of Saginaw, Mich., a student at Buena Vista High School and member of Team 49. She is a past participant in Kettering's AIM Program.
** Seth Henderson of Holly, Mich., a student at Oakland Science, Math and Technology Academy in Clarkston, Mich., and member of Team 27. He was interviewed, along with Bob Nichols, vice president of Enrollment Management, on WJR Radio on Saturday, April 27, during a special two-hour broadcast of the Paul W. Smith Show from Epcot Center.
** April Roach of Pontiac, Mich., a student at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School in Bloomfield Hills and a member of Team 448.
** Derelle Redmond of Southfield, a student at Southfield Senior High School and a member of Team 94.
** Armando Gomez IV of Mt. Prospect, Ill., a student at Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and a member of Team 111.

FIRST is a nationwide high-tech sporting event that pits robots designed and built by teams of students, teachers and corporate engineers in head-to-head competitions. Teams receive an identical kit that includes a microprocessor, radio-frequency transmitters and receivers, electrical components, motors, batteries and other hardware. Immediately following the kickoff ceremony, high school students gather with their corporate or university sponsors to begin the six-week process of designing, building and testing their robot in preparation for the regional and national competitions.

Kettering's team, the Auto City Bandits, is made up of a group of high school students from the Genesee Area Skill Center (GASC) in Flint. The team is coached by GASC's John Root. The high school students take classes at GASC and represent:

  • Davison High School
  • Flint Central High School
  • Flint's Southwestern Academy
  • Lake Fenton High School
  • Linden High School
  • Powers Catholic High School, and
  • Swartz Creek High School.

Nichols said Kettering is proud of its FIRST involvement. "We need to encourage high school students to take a serious look at math and science. The local, regional and national contests of FIRST are a fun and effective way for students and engineers to meet each other," Nichols said. "And we actively recruit from this pool of very talented students."

This year's game featured two teams paired in an alliance, competing on a playing field that is separated into five zones. Alliances compete in four divisions: Archimedes Division, Curie Division, Galileo Division, and Newton Division.

Robots seek and secure up to 40 soccer balls on the playing field, maneuvering with three moveable goals. An alliance can score points with robot placement, moving goals and securing balls in a timed contest.

More information on this year's national championships is available at www.usfirst.org.