Robotics season kickoff Thursday May 10th

Thursday, May 10th the Robotics Opportunity Committee of Western North Carolina ( will host the 2012 FIRST® Kickoff event at 4H in Asheville (94 Coxe Ave) from 5:30 to 7:30PM.

FIRST® is a national organization that provides four program models designed for students of all ages. The name translates: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Teams participate in one of several leagues based on the age of the students and the type of robot constructed by the team:

JFLL – Junior FIRST® LEGO® League – Grades K-3 (ages 6-9)

FLL – FIRST® LEGO® League – Grades 4-8 (ages 9-14)

FTC® – FIRST® Tech Challenge – Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

FRC® – FIRST® Robotics Competition – Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

This is a great time to meet other people interested in STEM education, entrepreneurial experiences for students and robotics, the “team sport for the mind”. Get involved as a team member, mentor, coach or sponsor of a FIRST® robotics team.

Celebrate western North Carolina teams’ accomplishments, see the robots in action and learn how to join or start a team. We will have representatives from FIRST® North Carolina region, local FRC® and FLL team coaches, mentors, parents and students with their robots in action.

Local teams have been funded through grants from national sponsors as well the more than twenty local sponsors providing cash, working space, mentors and volunteers. Local support will be even more important in the coming year; we are actively seeking 2012/2013 sponsorship.

2011/2012 Highlights:

The first ever Asheville-based official FIRST® LEGO® League Robotics Tournament was held at the UNCA Justice Athletic Center, hosted by the UNCA Mechatronics Engineering Department. Twenty-three teams from western North Carolina, including six from Asheville competed in a series of robotics challenges and presented their research on the year’s theme: Food Factor. One of the rookie FLL teams went on to regional FLL competition.

FRC® teams from Asheville, North Buncombe and two from Hendersonville compete. At the regional competition, Rebound RumbleTM in Raleigh, the Hendersonville High team was chosen for the finals and the North Buncombe High’s team was the highest scoring rookie team. The Hendersonville Boys and Girls Club team won the rookie inspiration award at the Smokey Mountains competition in Tennessee.

For event details, directions, and contact links, visit

For information about FIRST®, visit


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