Full Details of Star Wars-Inspired Challenge Unveiled to Nearly 100,000 High School Students Worldwide at the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition Season Kickoff
FIRST, a robotics community that prepares young people for the future, launched the 2020 FIRST® Robotics Competition season with the Kickoff of a new robotics game called INFINITE RECHARGE before a crowd of 1,200 people, including Sen. Maggie Hassan, D.-N.H., U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D.-N.H., and Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, D.-N.H., at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, hometown of FIRST HQ. Nearly 100,000 high-school students on 3,898 teams at 160 venues around the world joined the 2020 Kickoff via live broadcast.
.@FIRSTweets unveils #INFINITERECHARGE robotics game as part of the #FIRSTRISE, powered by @starwars: #ForceForChange, season
Larry Cohen, president of FIRST, encouraged students to innovate and have fun: “I hope you tackle this season by working together to explore new ideas, to be innovative and inclusive, to strive to make an impact, and – of course – to have fun. I know you’ll rise to the challenge. What you learn in FIRST will make you better prepared for the future and enable you to solve our toughest challenges.”
INFINITE RECHARGE is part of the 2020 FIRST season, FIRST RISE, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. FIRST has teamed up with Lucasfilm and parent company Disney as part of the Star Wars: Force for Change philanthropic initiative to inspire the next generation of heroes and innovators, creating a place where collaboration and collective wisdom can elevate new ideas and foster growth. FIRST RISE empowers FIRST participants to explore the future of cities and architecture, building communities filled with inspiration, creativity, and – most importantly – hope.
In INFINITE RECHARGE, two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Each alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score Power Cells in order to energize their Shield Generator for maximum protection. To activate sections of the Shield Generator, droids manipulate their Control Panels after scoring a specific number of Power Cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their Rendezvous Point to get their Shield Generator operational in order to protect the city.
At today’s Kickoff, teams were shown the INFINITE RECHARGE game field and challenge details for the first time and received the Kickoff Kit from the Kit of Parts, which is made up of motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – with limited instructions.
“I applaud all the students participating in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition season, and thank you to all the teachers, administrators, mentors, and volunteers who support FIRST Robotics Competition,” said Senator Hassan. “Not only does FIRST play an important role in helping students to build a strong foundation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, it also critically teaches young people to compete with ‘Gracious Professionalism’ and prioritizes teamwork and collaboration. The entire state of New Hampshire will be stronger because of the efforts and success of FIRST programs, and I will keep working to support FIRST in the United States Senate.”
Working with adult mentors, students have limited time to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these young inventors build a robot, their teams will participate beginning in late February in one or more of the global 173 Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
By participating in FIRST, students gain confidence to explore the innovation process while learning valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. FIRST Robotics Competition participants are eligible to apply for more than $80 million in FIRST Scholarships from colleges, universities, and technical programs. Students also learn and apply the FIRST ethos of Gracious Professionalism® via a signature set of FIRST Core Values.