Rensselaer to Host 2020 Season Kickoff for FIRST Robotics Competition

TROY, N.Y. – Hundreds of high school students will gather on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, January 4, for the season kickoff of the 2020 FIRST ® Robotics Competition. At the event, teams will learn the details of this year’s challenge — FIRST RISE, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change.

The kickoff event, which is open to reporters, will take place in Room 308 of the Darrin Communications Center starting at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 4. Simultaneous kickoff events will be held across the world. The celebration broadcast, which will be shown at all of them, begins at 10 a.m.

In the FIRST ® Robotics Competition, teams of high school students must build a robot in response to a specific challenge. This year’s task centers around inspiring citizens of the galaxy to work together to strengthen and protect the Force that binds them.

After the announcement, student teams will spend several weeks leading up to the competition designing, building, and testing their robots. Teams in the region will face off at the New York Tech Valley FIRST ® Robotics Competition, which will be held at Rensselaer on March 12-14, 2020.

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.

“We are very proud to host these events and competitions, which engage students and inspire them to explore the power of science and technology,” said Paul Schoch, director of the Rensselaer Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education.