FIRST® Robotics Competition International Kickoff Event

-91,000+ High-School Students Worldwide Tuning in for Unveiling of 2018 Robotics Challenge: FIRST® POWER UP℠ -More Than 3,600 Teams Participate Through Twitch Live Broadcast Event, Originating From Manchester, N.H.

Who: FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) will be joined by public figures to launch the 2018 season of the FIRST® Robotics Competition - FIRST® POWER UPSM - with a worldwide Kickoff event originating from Manchester, N.H.

The 2018 season will include 3,647 teams from 27 countries (91,000+ high-school students), grades 9-12, participating in 158 Regional and District events.
At Kickoff, teams will be shown the FIRST POWER UP 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:

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu
Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
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 Technology;
FIRST students & special guests
What: Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that challenges high-school students - working alongside professional mentors - to construct a robot and compete in tournaments that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of teamwork and collaboration, and each team's display of Gracious Professionalism®. Through their participation in the only sport where every kid can ‘go pro,' 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 more than $50 million in college scholarships.

When: Saturday, January 6, 2018

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

10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Twitch Live 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

137 Kickoffs in cities worldwide: U.S. and international FIRST teams will tune in live via Twitch broadcast. Access the live stream via
To locate teams in your area, visit the FIRST Team search or contact your area's FIRST Regional Director.
2018 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Event Locations:

List of local Kickoff locations
Photo Opp.: FIRST will unveil the details of the new 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition game after the speaker program. Students take measurements on the new, full-scale 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.

Kickoff Broadcast Link:

About FIRST®

Accomplished 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. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $50 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-4. Gracious Professionalism® 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

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