Inventor Dean Kamen Will be Joined by National Luminaries to Help FIRST® Kick Off its 2012 Robotics Season

Media Invited to Attend 74 Local Regional Kickoffs Worldwide As Teams Participate Through NASA-TV Global Broadcast Hookup & Webcast

(BUSINESS WIRE) — January 4, 2012FIRST:



FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) will be joined by public figures to launch the 2012 season of the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) with a worldwide Kickoff event originating from Manchester, N.H.

-- The 2012 season will include an estimated 2,355 teams (nearly 60,000 high-school students) participating in 68 Regional and District events. All teams will be shown the 2012 robotics game field and challenge for the first time and will receive an exciting, new Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, and a mix of automation components – but no instructions. Teams will have six weeks to design and build robots to meet this year’s engineering challenge.

Dignitaries and public figures from across the nation will deliver remarks on video and in person, including (in order of appearance):

-- Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report

-- Jon Dudas, FIRST President

-- Former President, George W. Bush

-- Walt Havenstein, FIRST Chairman

-- Chairman’s Award video by FIRST Team 359, Hawaii

-- Former President, Bill Clinton

-- Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor

-- Scholarship video by Jean Zheng, Stephen Hall, Yale University
-- Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

-- Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder & President of DEKA Research & Development Corp.

-- Kate Pilotte, Collin Fultz, FIRST Kit of Parts Engineers

-- Aneesh Chopra, White House CTO
-- Alex Kipman, General Manager, Hardware Incubation, Xbox, Microsoft Corp.
-- Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator
-- Jim Heppelmann, CEO, PTC
-- FRC Game Design Committee Introductions

-- Bill Miller, Director, FIRST Robotics Competition

-- Team Safety Animation winner, FIRST Team 3705 Arrowbots

-- Dr. Aidan Browne, Chief Referee, FRC
--, Grammy-award winning artist/producer and Director of Creative Innovation, Intel
-- and other Special Guests


Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an annual competition that challenges high-school students – working alongside professional Mentors – to design and build a robot of their own, and compete in a ‘ Sport for the Mind™’ that measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and Gracious Professionalism™. Students build and program their own robots against a field of competitors and experience the excitement of science, engineering, technology and innovation. .



Saturday, January 7, 2012 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Broadcast



Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester, N.H.


-- Remote FIRST teams will tune in via NASA-TV broadcast and Web cast from 74 Kickoffs. Access the NASA webcast via link from News & Headlines section.

To locate teams in your area, visit and click on the “What FIRST Teams & Events Are In My Area” block in the top right corner. For a listing of local Kickoff locations,

visit .


2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Event Locations:



AK, Anchorage

AL, Tanner

AZ, Phoenix

CA, Los Angeles, Madera, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose

CO, Denver

CT, Farmington

FL, Coconut Creek, Melbourne, Orlando

GA, Atlanta

HI, Honolulu

ID, Idaho Falls

IL, Chicago, Peoria

IN, Indianapolis, West Lafayette

KS, Olathe

MA, Boston

MD, Laurel

MI, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Marquette, Novi, Traverse City

MN, Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis, St. Cloud

MO, St. Louis

MS, Stennis Space Center

NC, Raleigh

ND, Fargo

NH, Manchester

NJ, Newark, Skillman

NV, Las Vegas

NY, Brooklyn, Rochester, Stony Brook, Troy

OH, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus

OK, Stillwater

OR, Corvallis

PA, Drexel Hill, Pittsburgh

SC, Charleston

TN, Memphis, Knoxville

TX, Austin, El Paso, Houston, Plano, San Antonio

UT, West Valley City

VA, Hampton, Richmond

WA, Auburn, Cheney, Mountlake Terrace, Vancouver

Washington, D.C.

WI, Pewaukee



ON, Toronto

QC, Montreal



NA, Haifa





Photo Opp.:

FIRST will unveil the details of the new 2012 robotics competition game after the speaker program.



Digital photos of previous FIRST competitions are available at the Online FRC Photo Gallery found at:

-- Photos of the January 7 event available by contacting Email Contact the day of the event.

-- Interviews for speakers at the January 7 event available by contacting Cheryl Walsh at 978-407-8028 the day of the event.

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