DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE
FIRST Robotics Competition combines the rigors of science with the excitement of sport to inspire an appreciation of science and technology among high school students. This spring, 108 teams comprised of more than 2,500 students from the Kansas City region and beyond are putting their robots to the test during three regional competitions—two in the metro and one in Sedalia, Mo.
The first-place champions and select award winners from each regional will advance to the FIRST Championships in Houston on April 17-20 to compete with teams from around the world in this season’s challenge, DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE.
INFO AT A GLANCE
FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national nonprofit founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. With financial support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, FIRST expanded rapidly in the Kansas City region beginning in the early 2000s. In 2019, the Western Missouri/Kansas Region (managed by the KC STEM Alliance) expands to three regional FIRST Robotics Competition events of 36 teams each.
The Western Missouri/Kansas Region now includes 71 teams, with about 50 in the Kansas City region (including public and private schools as well as community-based teams). With three regional competitions, each local team can compete relatively near their home base and compete in more than one event without incurring significant travel costs. The extra slots for team also has attracted international teams, with four teams from China, one from Mexico and one from Turkey traveling to the regional events.
The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges high school students to construct a robot of their own in an annual themed challenge. Under strict rules, limited resources and the guidance of volunteer mentors including engineers, teachers, business professionals, parents, alumni and more, teams of 25+ students have just six weeks to build and program robots to perform challenging tasks against a field of competitors. They must also raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills and perform community outreach. In addition to learning valuable Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and life skills, participants are eligible to apply for $50+ million in college scholarships.
About the DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE Challenge
The 2019 DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE theme finds two competing alliances of three teams each collecting samples on planet Primus. Unpredictable terrain and weather patterns make remote robot operation essential to their mission on the planet. With only 2.5 minutes until liftoff, the alliances must gather as many cargo pods as possible and prepare their spaceships before the next sandstorm arrives.
The public is encouraged to attend, catch the excitement of this intense competition and cheer on their favorite teams. Admission is free.
Heartland Regional // March 15-16 // Olathe South High School | 1640 E 151st St | Olathe, KS 66062
Greater Kansas City Regional // March 22-23 // Rockhurst High School | 9301 State Line Road | Kansas City, MO 64114
Central Missouri Regional // April 6-7 // Smith-Cotton High School | 2010 Tiger Pride Boulevard | Sedalia, MO 65301
MORE THAN ROBOTS
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the matches, but don’t forget to go behind the scenes to see all that goes into competition day. Wander the pits, where each team has a 10x10 space to house its robot and make adjustments and repairs between matches as well as showcase their community outreach and other work.
OPEN TO ALL MEDIA: If you would like to attend as media, please contact Callen Fairchild Zind, 816.564.9511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.