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03-16-2007

Clarkson FIRST Robotics Team Wins Award in Rochester

Clarkson University's FIRST Robotics Team recently competed in the third annual Finger Lakes Regional Competition at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The team is part of the University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program.

Division By Zero, the Clarkson University, Massena High School, and Salmon River High School robotics team, made it to the semi-final level, and received the highly coveted "Xerox Creativity Award," which celebrates creativity in design, use of a component, or strategy of play. Teams were required in six weeks to design and build a robot that picks up donut-shaped pool floats and place them on a star-like ten-foot-tall structure on a playing field.

Division by Zero competed against more than 30 teams sponsored by businesses and universities at this year's regional competition. Each year more than 1,000 teams worldwide compete in the international robotics design competition.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national program that teams together high school students with engineers from universities and industry to design and build remote-controlled robots for competition. Its mission is to inspire high school students to pursue college degrees and ultimately careers in science and technology.

The SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives exemplifying Clarkson's boundary-spanning approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 250 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design and analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil and Turner Construction Company. The program was recognized with the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and the 2002 Corporate and Foundation Alliance Award for its exceptional contributions to improving undergraduate engineering education.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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