December 21, 2007 Volume 108 Number 24

UA Local 290 to host robotics competition kickoff

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition will kick off in Oregon Jan. 5 at the Tualatin training facility of Plumbers and Fitters Local 290.

FIRST is a nationwide competition that challenges teams of young people and their professional mentors to build a robot using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules.

On kick-off day, NASA broadcasts via satellite the new game for the year. Teams are then given six weeks to build their robots using skills in engineering, mathematics, technology and science. The robots are scored at a regional contest and winners advance to a national finals.

Local 290 is setting up a special area at its training center for teams to test their creations throughout the six-week construction process. “It’s a great opportunity for us to show off our state-of-the-art facility and also to share it with area high schools,” said Local 290 Business Manager John Endicott.

The regional finals will be held Feb. 28 through March 1 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. The Jan. 5 kick-off event goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to everyone.