[LINK] The FIRST Student Robotics Competition

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Jan 5 20:47:43 AEDT 2009

Hi Nathan, Chris, Marian and all ..

Excellent list emails guys .. the FIRST Student Robotics Competition
has been initiated in Australia and of course by QUT, JCU & Mac unis
being Junior FIRST LEGO student competitions. Great information, guys.

And of course, Australian schools can continue to rely on uni-ed-facs
etc to lead the way in terms of first rate edu-initiatives as you have.

And that's fine. BUT, in this case I believe this program needs Ed/Dpt
support (Gov&Ind) to allow EVERY Australian school to be involved. And
as FIRST costs more than US$10k .. and most teams are of 25 students or
so .. this wonderful program suits wide-scale Gov adoption & resourcing.

What better than an Australia wide competition (with local-source parts
kits under licence?) with the best Aussie student-robots entering FIRST?

That is, regional and online student team workshops, and State events :)

If we had our own version, we could and should offer it as Ed elective
curriculum. Whatever, FIRST is great, and should be adopted nationally.

(Quote) "What is the structure of an FRC team? There is no typical or 
FIRST mandated team structure.  FIRST does require each team to assign 
adults to the official team roles of Main, Alternate and Shipping 
Contact – other than that, you are free to structure your team as best 
suits you! Most teams comprise 25 students (there is no maximum) and can 
be made up of one or more high schools or youth organization(s). We also 
have home-schooled teams that compete."

> From:   "Nathan Beveridge" <classroomnetwork at gmail.com> 
> To: "Professional community for teachers" <oz-
teachers at rite.ed.qut.edu.au> 
> Date:   Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:39:12 +1000 
> Subject:   Re: [Oz-teachers] The FIRST Robotics Competition 

We held the inaugural Brisbane FIRST Lego League event on Nov 22 2008 
here at QUT Kelvin Grove which was a great success for the first time 
running the event.  A good turn out for the first time  the event has 
been held here in Brisbane.  Good range of students from a range of 
schools attended.  Some had not been competing in similar events were 
seasoned competitors or at least had teachers that had been involved in 
such events before.

I believe that it has been run in Northern Queensland Cairns area in 
previous years by the good folks at JCU.  Dr Colin Baskin has been 
spearheading the push for FIRST Lego Leagues throughout Australia very 
actively during 2008.

More local info is available here http://www.primefll.com.au/

-Nathan Beveridge

2009/1/5 <stephen at melbpc.org.au> wrote:

Hi all,

Strongly believe in the FIRST program .. and yet am not sure Australia
has ever been involved, thus far .. to our collective school detriment.

 FIRST is simply the best Student Robotics event worldwide.

I call on all Aussie Education Departments to hold SMART Regional Events.

"Lunacy" Unveiled to 42,000 High School Students at the 2009 FIRST
 Robotics Competition Game Kickoff    (Sat Jan 3, 2009 3:26pm EST)

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
launched its eighteenth FIRST Robotics Competition season today with
a Kickoff of a new robotics game called "Lunacy" at Southern New
Hampshire University in Manchester, hometown and headquarters of FIRST.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps
students discover the rewards and excitement of science, engineering,
and technology.

More than  42,000 high-school students on 1,686 teams from the U.S.,
Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the
Philippines, Turkey, and the U.K. are participating in this year`s

In the "Lunacy" game, robots are designed to pick up 9" game balls and
score them in trailers hitched to their opponents` robots for points
during a 2 minute and 15 second match.

Additional points are awarded for scoring a special game ball, the Super
Cell, in the opponents' trailers during the last 20 seconds of the match.

"Lunacy" is played on a low-friction floor, which means teams must
contend with the laws of physics.

At today`s Kickoff, teams were shown the game field and received a Kit
of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, and a mix of
automation components - but no instructions.

Working with mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program,
and test their robots to meet the season`s engineering challenge. Once
these young inventors create a robot, their teams participate in
competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the
power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

Sponsored by NASA, PTC, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Worcester Polytechnic
Institute, the exciting Kickoff event gave teams the opportunity to see
the new game for the first time.

Teams across the nation and in Canada, and Israel watched the proceedings
via NASA TV broadcast or webcast from 52 local Kickoff sites, many of
which also offered workshops and a chance to meet other teams.

In 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition began with 28 teams and a single
14 x 14 foot playing field in a New Hampshire high school gym.

This season, 1,686 teams - including 322 rookie teams - will participate.

Forty regional competitions in the U.S., Canada, and Israel, plus seven
district competitions and one state championship in Michigan, will lead
up to the 2009 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April

FIRST programs are operated by over 85,000 dedicated volunteers
worldwide, many of them professional engineers and scientists who mentor
the next generation of innovators.

To find FIRST Robotics Competition events and teams in your area, visit
www.usfirst.org and click on the map in the top right corner.


FIRST Founding Sponsors include Boston Scientific Corporation, Baxter
International Incorporated, The Chrysler Foundation, DEKA Research &
Development Corp., Delphi Corporation, General Motors Corporation,
Johnson & Johnson, Keiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Motorola Incorporated
and Xerox Corporation.

FIRST Strategic Partners include BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, FedEx
Corporation, General Motors Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, NASA, National
Instruments, Rockwell Automation, and Rockwell Collins.

With the support of many of the world's most well-known companies, the
not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition and
FIRST Tech Challenge for high-school students, the FIRST LEGO® League for
children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO League for 6 to 9 year-
olds. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

Docs:  http://usfirst.org/community/resourcecenter.aspx?id=952
Video: http://usfirst.org/community/resourcecenter.aspx?id=652

Marian Murphy, 603-666-3906 ext. 409 (Office)
mmurphy at usfirst.org   Copyright Business Wire 2009

Cheers Marian
Stephen Loosley
Member, Victorian
Institute of Teaching

oz-teachers mailing list
oz-teachers at rite.ed.qut.edu.au

> From:   Christina Chalmers <c.chalmers at qut.edu.au> 
> To:   "oz-teachers at rite.ed.qut.edu.au" <oz-teachers at rite.ed.qut.edu.au> 
> Date:   Mon, 5 Jan 2009 12:47:30 +1000 
> Subject:   Re: [Oz-teachers] The FIRST Robotics Competition 
Hi Stephen,

The FIRST Lego Legue is also in Australia. QUT held the Brisbane 
competition in November this year This was the first time that it was 
held in Brisbane and a great time was had by the all involved. The 
winning team from Brisbane was sent to the national competition in Sydney 
on December 7th. Melbourne.

It is an annual competition and the dates for this year will be made 
available when decided: http://www.primefll.com.au/

Rod White rjwhite at mgs.vic.edu.au should have details for the Melbourne 
competition or you can email Colin  at Prime First Lego Legue: 
Colin at primefll.com.au

It is truly a worthwhile event and a lot of fun.

Christina Chalmers
School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education
Kelvin Grove, QUT

Cheers all,
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia

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