Rensselaer To Host 2019 Season Kickoff for FIRST Robotics Competition Jan. 5

For the eighth year in a row, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will host hundreds of high school students as they gather for the season kickoff event of the FIRST ® Robotics Competition. The event will take place in Room 308 of the Darrin Communications Center starting at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 5.

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. 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.

In the annual FIRST ® Robotics Competition, teams of high school students must build a robot in response to a specific challenge. The details of this year’s challenge, which is themed Destination: Deep Space, will be revealed during kickoff events – including the one at Rensselaer – held simultaneously throughout the world. After the announcement, teams will have roughly six weeks to design, build, and test their robots.

Representatives from 22 teams are expected to be present at the 2019 kickoff event at Rensselaer. These teams, as well as others from around the country, will then face off during the New York Tech Valley FIRST ® Robotics Competition, which will be held at Rensselaer on March 6-9, 2019. During this event, the teams will be vying for an invitation to the championship round held in Detroit in April.

“These competitions engage and inspire students every year,” said Paul Schoch, director of the Rensselaer Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education. “We are so proud to be able to provide a space to explore what is possible with science and technology and put these bright minds on a path toward successful careers.”

For more information about the kickoff event on January 5, visit: