WORLD ROBOT OLYMPIAD USA TO HOST 2016 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AT NORTHERN ILLINIOS UNIVERSITY

Global Robotics Competition Names William Wong National Organizer, Increases Local Participation

AURORA, Ill. - May 18, 2016 - World Robot Olympiad USA, today announced it will partner with Northern Illinois University to host its National Championship on Sept. 4, 2016 in DeKalb, Illinois. Now in its third year in the United States, WRO-USA is expanding its program to reach even more young people throughout the country. Global competition organizers have appointed William Wong as U.S. national organizer to lead the effort to bring robotics and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to children and young adults across the country.


"I have been involved with World Robot Olympiad since its inception in the United States, and I look forward to growing its presence and seeing more young people, from elementary age through college, develop a love for robotics," said William Wong, national organizer of WRO-USA. "Through its competitions, WRO brings together children from different backgrounds to discover their passion, and I am humbled to be a part of that."

The World Robot Olympiad is a global robotics competition that unites young people in STEM from across the globe, with more than 55 participating countries and nearly 20,000 teams worldwide. WRO-USA is a rapidly growing competition, with plans to expand to 150 teams across at least 15 states in 2016, culminating in the National Championship at Northern Illinois University.

"Careers in STEM are in demand, and this demand is growing faster than other areas. Unfortunately, the U.S. currently does not have enough students graduating with STEM degrees to meet the forecasted need. Here at NIU STEM Outreach, we offer new and engaging ways for K-12 students to experience science, technology, engineering and math. Our programs are all about hands-on problem solving just like the World Robot Olympiad challenges. Together, we are positioning young people to have an impact in STEM fields and preparing them for future career success," said Pettee Guerrero, STEM Outreach program developer at Northern Illinois University. "We enthusiastically support WRO's mission to bring young people together through robotics and STEM, and we couldn't be more excited to host the WRO-USA National Championship at NIU in September."

According to the report, "STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future," released by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, from 2000-2010 growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as non-STEM jobs. Additionally, STEM occupations are expected to continue to grow at a rate almost double non-STEM jobs over the next several years.

WRO-USA not only encourages young people to develop the necessary technical skills, but teaches significant life skills as well.

"Aside from learning the building and programming, students also learn essential skills like teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking and communication. I've watched so many students become much more confident as a result of these competitions," added Wong. "I see firsthand the effect STEM education has on kids, and to watch a child develop his or her passion is truly inspiring. I would love to see these kids in 10 to 15 years to see the effect it has had on their lives, and the effect they've had on society."

Wong is an industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in the STEM field and eight years coaching and judging robotics competitions. He is founder of STEM education provider, Chasewood Learning, a proud sponsor of WRO-USA. Wong also established The Wong Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and providing opportunities for STEM education.

Registration is now open for regional competitions in California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington, with more locations coming soon. WRO-USA is also actively seeking partners at the local level to continue to expand its offerings in as many states across the U.S. as possible.

About World Robot Olympiad USA
World Robot OlympiadTM (WRO) is a global robotics competition with more than 55 participating countries, bringing together individuals from all over the world to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and to inspire young people to learn about this exciting field. WRO contestants apply STEM-based concepts and knowledge to real-world applications, while developing essential skills like teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, persistence and communication. Through its competitions, WRO inspires young people to continue on their STEM paths to future careers. For more information, visit www.wro-usa.org, or follow WRO-USA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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