FIRST® Robotics Teams Honored at White House Science Fair

FIRST News Release

FIRST® Robotics Teams Honored at White House Science Fair

MANCHESTER, N.H., Oct. 18, 2010
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced that the highest-winning robotics teams from the 2010 FIRST Championship were recognized for their achievements during the White House Science Fair. President Obama saluted the work of FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) team #341, “Miss Daisy,” of Ambler, Pa.; FIRST®Tech Challenge (FTC®) team #25, “Rock ‘n Roll Robots,” of Arcadia, Calif; and FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) team #3013, “The Inventioneers,” of Londonderry, N.H.

The White House Science Fair fulfills a pledge President Obama made to recognize student accomplishments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the same fervor afforded professional athletes.

“It was out of this world to be at the White House,” said FIRST LEGO League participant, T.J. Evarts, a homeschooler from Londonderry, N.H.  “The President is really funny, and he said that with our SMARTWheel invention, he would not be able to drive and eat a hamburger at the same time. What he wants to do is to make sure that his daughters have our invention when they are old enough to drive and he was very interested in how we came up with the ideas.”

FIRST teams recognized at the White House included:

Miss Daisy team (#341) the National Winner of the 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition, the largest competition of its kind in the world. The team won the Chairman’s Award, the highest honor awarded during the competition, for their robot “Miss Daisy.”  The team is affiliated with Wissahickon High School’s Robotics Program. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges high-school student teams to build robots from a kit of hundreds of parts, competing against 340 teams.

White House FRC White House FLL
Miss Daisy team (#341) The Inventioneers (Team #3013)

The Inventioneers

(Team #3013) a homeschooled team who took home top honors at the 2010 FIRSTLEGO League World Festival for their SMARTwheel, a special steering wheel meant to combat the problem of texting while driving. The team – all between the ages of nine and 14 – completed a special program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and are already working on a second-generation prototype of their invention. SMART stands for Safe Motorist Alert for Restriction Texting. The invention is a sensor-laden steering wheel cover that detects texting behavior and emits alerts to bring the driver's attention away from texting and back to the road. Future optional features include data collection and notification of employers, parents, or insurers of the driver's unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

Rock n’ Roll Robots(Team #25) an all-girl FTC robotics team composed entirely of Girl Scouts. They won the Inspire Award, the most prestigious award at the 2010 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships, honoring the team that performs well in all categories and deemed as the most desirable Alliance Partner by their peers. The FIRST Tech Challenge presents high-school student teams with the chance to design and program robots and compete against other teams in an Alliance format.

The White House event kicked off a week that culminates with the USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall and in over 50 satellite locations that is poised to draw more than a million people nationwide. FIRST will be on display at the Festival, Oct. 23-24, section NM-3, booth #341-357, on the National Mall.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST®(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) 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 three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

Media Contacts:

Dennis Garrigan, FIRST