Event: Pine Tree District FIRST® Robotics Competition
When: March 23, 2018, Opening Ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., competition continues to 7 p.m.
             and March 24, 2018, Opening Ceremonies at 9 a.m., competition continues to 5 p.m.
             Playoff matches begin at 1:30 p.m. on the 24th. 
Where: Androscoggin Bank Colisée, Lewiston, Maine
Admission: Free and open to the public
Contact: pinetreedistrict@gmail.com
Of Interest to: youth, families, mechanical, electrical and computer engineers, programmers, educators, employers

Pine Tree District FIRST® Robotics Competition, March 23 and 24 in Lewiston

Lewiston, Maine: Maine's sixth FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition event will be held at the The Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston on Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24. The Pine Tree District Competition will host 40 high school robotics teams from New England states including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and attract over 2,000 spectators. The ice arena will be transformed into a competition field to play the game that was released at the January 6th kickoff event by FIRST headquarters. The number of FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Maine has grown to over 25, all of them looking forward to another great competition season.

A FIRST competition is an exciting sporting event using robots created and built by students with the guidance of professional mentors. With donor funding and volunteer labor, this event is made possible by contributions from individuals and business partners from around the state. Members of the community interested in a contribution of any kind should contact the planning committee, which is comprised of individuals from the Pine Tree District and includes educators, engineers, medical professionals, and more. The committee’s contact email is pinetreedistrict@gmail.com.

This year's sponsors include NE FIRST, Robotics Institute of Maine, Maine Society of Professional Engineers, and the US Army.

In addition to supporting your local FIRST team, to help support the district event with a contribution, please make checks payable to FIRST Pine Tree District, and send to: NEFIRST, 400 Woodland Ave., P.O. Box 940, Bloomfield, CT 06002, (860) 819-3300. The goal of the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition is to join with the entire FIRST community to inspire Maine students to consider science/technology pathways to academics and careers through robotics programs. Since 2012, with the help of Robotics Institute of Maine, the number of Maine students participating in FIRST Robotics has doubled. The Pine Tree event helps to make these programs more accessible to Maine students, and students from around New England who travel to Maine to participate.

Robotics programs offer a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience, which prepares students for technology careers. They help promote leadership and teamwork skills, engineering and physics principles, software programming skills, project management skills, critical and strategic thinking skills and presentation skills. Through these events, they meet other students and a host of professionals helping them to pursue these careers and succeed. Through these efforts, we expect the State of Maine to have: more students majoring in engineering and technology at Maine universities and community colleges, a greater number of workers available for technically oriented jobs, and a larger base of high-skilled workers to retain, attract and start technology companies in Maine.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen of Deka Research and Development Corporation. FIRST. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields.

In 2018 there are more than 3,600 FIRST® Robotics Competition teams with a record 478 Rookie teams.  There are over 90,000 youth participants, over 25,000 mentors, coaches, and supporters in more than 20 countries around the world. FIRST participants have access to more than $50 million in scholarships from nearly 200  providers. Robots seen in this season of FIRST  Robotics Competition are built in 6 weeks using a common kit of parts, and parts meeting FIRST requirements, and can weigh as much as 120 lbs. The competition season consists of a series of district and regional competitions culminating in late April at FIRST Championship hosted in Houston, TX and Detroit, MI. 

To learn more about FIRST worldwide, visit www.firstinspires.org. To learn more about the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition, visit www.pinetreedistrict.org. To learn more about the Maine FIRST teams, visit www.MaineFIRST.org.

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