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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 9, 2009

UI FIRST Tech Challenge pitting robots against robots kicks off Sept. 12

The 2009 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Program at the University of Iowa College of Engineering will begin with a Kick-Off Celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, in the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences.

The session is free and open to the public.

The program -- new to affiliate partner UI, in cooperation with official national sponsor Rockwell Collins, Inc. of Cedar Rapids -- involves 24 teams, each composed of five to 10 local high school students. The program involves constructing robots that battle in a sports-like game.

The Kick-Off will take place at 4 p.m. in the Stanley Auditorium, Seamans Center, when the 2009 game theme and rules are officially revealed. Other activities will include talks on game strategy and coaching, as well as a raffle for t-shirts and other items.

Teams enter their robots in regional competitions held between November 2009 and March 2010, with the UI scheduled to host an FTC Regional Competition Jan. 9, 2010, at the Iowa Memorial Union. The college of engineering was selected by US FIRST to coordinate FIRST Tech Challenge activities for the State of Iowa.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by Segway inventor Dean Kamen to encourage student team building skills, entrepreneurship and "Gracious Professionalism."

Additional information is available at or by contacting coordinator Rebecca Whitaker at 319-335-5706 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One,
Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, writer, 319-384-0009,