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A First For Science and Technology

Robots competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition aims to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people.

Nearly 38,000 highschool students from the United States and worldwide took over the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the 2008 First — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — Robotics Championship Competition.

During the event, software developer Autodesk, a 17-year sponsor of the competition, honored two teams with its Autodesk Inventor Design Award for excellence in student mechanical design. In fact, all three teams from the championship’s winning alliance and all six finalists entered the Autodesk Design Competition or used 3D animation and design software from Autodesk.

Winners included Team 148 RoboWranglers of Greenville High School from Greenville, Texas; Team 217 ThunderChickens of Utica Community Schools from Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Team 1114 Simbotics of Governor Simcoe Secondary School from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. These teams formed the winning alliance.

Autodesk honored two exemplary teams with special awards. Team 234 Cyber Blue of Indianapolis won the Autodesk Inventor Award for excellence in student mechanical design, and Team 867 Absolute Value of Pasadena, Calif., received the Autodesk Visualization Design Award honoring superiority in student animation.

Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering. With support from many 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 to 14 years old, and the Junior FIRST Lego League for 6 to 9 year olds. To learn more, go to

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