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Clarkson led robotics team featuring Massena, Salmon River students takes top honors

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POTSDAM - Clarkson University’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 229, Division By Zero, won the inaugural New York Tech Valley Regional held March 13-15, its sixth regional FRC win since 1998.

Part of Clarkson’s nationally recognized Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design (SPEED) program, FRC Team 229 consists of high school students from the Massena and Salmon River Central school districts mentored by Clarkson undergraduate students from a variety of majors.

The three-day event included practice, qualification and double elimination matches between three-on-three robot alliances competing in a game, called Arial Assist, that required teams to pass exercise balls down a 24’ by 54’ field and shoot them into scoring goals at the field ends.

After taking part in 12 qualification matches, Team 229 was invited join an alliance with Team 1126 from Webster and Team 20 from Clifton ParkClakrons, for the double elimination matches. The resulting alliance used the strengths of each robot and some great team work to win all but one of their elimination matches on their way to victory.

As a result its regional win, Team 229 has been invited to participate in the FRC World Championship in St Louis, Mo., on April 23-26.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a Manchester, N.H., based 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology by designing accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. Its annual FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind, combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 10 or more high school students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team. See http://www.usfirst.org for more information.

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