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FIRST Robotics Team Division by Zero Takes Gold at Long Island Regional
[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/first2007.jpg]
Last Thursday through Saturday the team traveled to the Long Island Regional to compete against 40 other teams. Division By Zero was undefeated in the qualifying rounds with a record of 11-0. This gave the team the first-seed position going into the elimination matches of the tournament. The team battled through semi-final, quarter-final and championship matches, to emerge as the winner of the regional competition. The final record for this double elimination event was 16-1, with the only loss occurring in the first match of a semi-final round.
The team's commitment to community service also prompted the judging panel to award Team 229 a Judges' Award for the team's unique efforts, performance and dynamics to inspire students to pursue careers in math, science, technology and engineering. Division By Zero's university and high school team members have been instrumental in promoting and mentoring Lego League robotics teams at the elementary level and Vex robotics teams at the middle school level.
The team is now setting their sights on the National Robotics Competition in Atlanta, Ga. Regional competitions are held all over the United States and in three other countries. Award winners from each regional are invited to a championship event consisting of more than 300 teams and 25,000 students in Atlanta, competing for the championship title.
The team traveled to Rochester, N.Y., in early March to compete in the Finger Lakes Regional along with 34 other teams. Division by Zero was successful in reaching the quarter finals before losing to a strong alliance of robots. The team received the Xerox Creativity Award for its innovative three-finger gripper design that readily manipulates inflated pool tube-like game pieces used to score in the 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.