FRC Regional Tournament – March 22 -24, 2012

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a “varsity sport for the mind” that offers students real-life lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and an opportunity to work with engineering mentors from large and small companies who volunteer in the program.

Fifty-one teams from Wisconsin and neighboring states have spent $6,000 each to register for Milwaukee’s regional contest that begins Thursday, March 22, at Milwaukee’s US Cellular Arena. It’s one of  56 regional competitions throughout the world. Winners will go on to the World FIRST Championship April 25-28 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Engineers, scientists and business executives from Madison companies, including GE Healthcare, UW-Madison, Department of Health Services, and Synchrotron Radiation Center have invested hundreds of volunteer hours in the student-led, mentor-guided program. They have spent five nights a week coaching students as they develop hands-on experience in science, engineering, technology and math.

The robots will compete in a Rebound RumbleSM game played on a 27-foot-by-54-foot field built by Isthmus engineers and volunteer team mentors. The Rebound Rumble robotics game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.

Students participating in the program are eligible for more than $14 million in college scholarships from 130 colleges and universities, including Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

FIRST is a concept launched in 1989 by Dean Kamen, a Manchester, N.H., inventor of medical devices and the Segway electric scooter who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his biomedical devices and for making engineering more popular among high school students.

The Milwaukee FRC Regional is open to the public. Further information about FIRST is available at

Watch the tournament live:
5Nines Data has set up a high-def (720p) video stream of the tournament. It will adapt to your device (desktop/mobile) and should work on mobile devices like iPhone/iOS, Droids, and Blackberries.  Check it out and cheer us on…