Boilermaker Regional robotics competition set for March 15-17

March 13, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Forty teams comprised of high school students from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin will compete in the ninth annual FIRST Boilermaker Regional robotics competition March 15-17 at Purdue University.

FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology - enables students to integrate technology and sports. The 2012 competition, "Rebound Rumble," will require robots to make shots on basketball goals of varying heights, while also forcing the machines to balance on various see-saw boards on the court

The competition will be in the Purdue Armory. Practice rounds will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 15. Qualifying matches will be from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 and from 9:30 a.m. to noon March 17. The top-ranked teams will compete in final rounds at 1 p.m. March 17. All events are free and open to the public.

"It's a really exciting atmosphere and similar to that of any sporting event," said Carolyn Creighton, director of publicity for Purdue FIRST and a mechanical engineering student. "The participating students will get dressed up in crazy, wild costumes and go around chanting and showing a lot of spirit. The thing I like is that there isn't any negative energy."

High school teams learned of this year's theme in January and had six weeks to build a robot for the competition, relying on local sponsors for equipment. Teams receive guidance from professional engineers, teachers and parents during the process.

Regional winners advance to the international championship event April 25-28 in St. Louis, where 300 teams and 25,000 people will gather.

Sponsors for the regional contest are Purdue University, Indiana Space Grant Consortium, Rolls-Royce, Delphi, Total Electronics, Andy Mark, and Procter and Gamble.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway human transporter. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs innovative programs to motivate students to pursue science, technology and engineering. Since its inception, FIRST has expanded internationally to Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Israel, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil.

A list of teams competing in the Boilermaker Regional can be found at:

Writer: Brian Peloza, (765) 494-2081,

Source: Carolyn Creighton,

Related websites:
Purdue regional robotics competition page

YouTube video demonstrating contest:

Note to Journalists: Media packets with information on each team and background information on FIRST will be available at the media check-in station at the Purdue Armory. Photographs can be taken at the event. There are restrictions, however, on where photographers and videographers may stand during the competition. Areas near the arena will be made available for photographers and videographers. To reserve a media packet or arrange an advance interview with team members or a FIRST representative, contact Carolyn Creighton, Purdue FIRST Programs at