FIRST® Robotics Competition Global Kickoff Event

More than 75,000 High-School Students Worldwide Eager for Unveiling
of 2016 Robotics Challenge: FIRST STRONGHOLD

Over 3,100 Teams Participate through Comcast NBCUniversal Broadcast

Media Invited to Attend Local Kickoffs in 114 Venues Worldwide


® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology) will be joined by numerous public figures to launch the 2016
season of the FIRST®
Robotics Competition
with a worldwide Kickoff event originating from Manchester, N.H.

  • The 2016 season will include over 3,100 teams (75,000 high-school
    students), grades 9-12, participating in 118 Regional and District
  • At Kickoff, teams will be shown the FIRST STRONGHOLD game field
    and challenge details for the first time, and will receive a Kit of
    Parts made up of motors, batteries, control system components,
    construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components
    – with limited instructions.
  • Teams will have six weeks to design and build a robot to meet this
    year’s engineering challenge.

Dignitaries and public figures will deliver remarks on video and in
person, including:

  • Dean Kamen, President, DEKA Research & Development and Founder, FIRST;
  • Dr. Woodie Flowers, FIRST Distinguished Advisor, and Co-Chair
    of the FIRST Executive Advisory Board; Pappalardo Professor
    Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of
  • Donald E. Bossi, President, FIRST;
  • FIRST students & special guests

What: Accomplished inventor Dean
founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of
science and technology in young people. The FIRST Robotics
Competition is an annual competition that challenges high-school
students – working alongside professional Mentors – to construct a robot
and compete in the ultimate Sport for the Mind™ that measures the
effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration,
and each team’s display of Gracious
. Through their
participation, students experience the excitement of science,
engineering, technology, and innovation; build well-rounded life
capabilities such as self-confidence, communication, and leadership; and
qualify for over $25 million in college scholarships.

When: Saturday, January 9, 2016

10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, Local Remarks (LIVE Manchester,
N.H. only)

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time, Comcast NBCUniversal Broadcast

Where*: Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), 2500 North
River Road, Manchester, N.H. *OPEN TO ALL MEDIA: If you would
like to attend as media, please contact Haley Dunn at
or Brooke Blew at

2016 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
Event Locations:

Photo Opp.: FIRST will unveil the details of the new 2016
robotics competition game after the speaker program. Students take
measurements on the new game field and inspect the challenge in order to
develop strategies for robot construction, and to determine if they will
play offense, defense, or both.

Broadcast Link:

Media Notes:

  • High resolution photos of previous FIRST competitions are
    available in the Photo Gallery:

    • Photos available day of event after 2 p.m. Eastern Time by
    • Interviews with speakers at the Kickoff event in Manchester, N.H.
      available by contacting: Haley Dunn at 603-494-5688 or Brooke Blew
      at 585-315-9045 on the day of the event.

About FIRST®
inventor Dean
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. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies
and more than $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition
for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge
for Grades 7-12; FIRST®
LEGO® League
for Grades 4-8; and FIRST®
LEGO® League Jr.
for Grades K-3. Gracious
® is a way of doing things that
encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and
respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST,
go to


Brooke Blew, 603-206-2048
Dunn, 603-206-2494