More than 400 students descend on Potsdam for Clarkson robotics tournament
Friday, March 7, 2014 - 11:27 am



Students from Gouverneur Central School District make adjustments to their robot during a previous FIRST championship tournament.

POTSDAM -- Robots and their handlers have invaded Clarkson University’s Student Center for the seventh annual FIRST Championship Tournament today and Saturday, March 7 and 8.

More than 400 students and their coaches, comprising 41 teams, are expected to participate in the two-day event.

Today, Friday, March 7, high school students are participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC). The opening ceremony began at 11:45 a.m. with the robot competitions starting at 12:15 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Middle school students, ages nine to 14, will compete March 8 in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) challenge.

The opening ceremony is at 12:30 p.m. with the robot competition beginning at 1 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 4 p.m.

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.

The tournament is sponsored by the Northern New York Robotics Academy, a local higher education consortium, and Clarkson University. The academy is directed by Clarkson Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor James Carroll.

The tournament is also sponsored by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, the “Connect a Million Minds” initiative of Time Warner Cable, the U.S. Air Force, National Grid, Northern Machining, Adirondack Energy, PPC: A Belden Brand, and BAE Systems.