Gulfport Team Gears Up For Robotics Contest - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

01/08/05

Gulfport Team Gears Up For Robotics Contest

It begins here with two, 75 pound boxes of parts and a challenge, to turn those parts into a moving thinking machine capable of doing remarkable things.

"Last year we used balls and this year it's a pyramid," says Gulfport Team Fusion member Scott Haney of his robots up coming task.

"You have to stack the Pyramids and you have to manipulate the pyramids," he said.

Teams from Louisiana and Mississippi gathered at the Stennis Space Center for the kickoff of NASA's FIRST Robotics competition.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

"We see this activity as a tremendous opportunity for young people to become acquainted with science and technology, and hopefully be attracted to those types of careers," says NASA Education Officer Dewey Herring

Winning is one thing but the first competition is actually about much more.

It's about building teamwork that will hopefully one day take the students and mankind to new horizons.

"It's the problem solving that the team has to engage in order to be successful," says Herring.

"It's the planning and design. So it's a lot about relationships," Herring added.

David Fava is coach of Gulfport high schools Team Fusion, Mississippi's first First Robotics Team. He says NASA'S mission is being accomplished.

"We have students right now at Cal Tech, University of Michigan, Auburn University, and Mississippi State," says Fava. "We look forward to seeing them graduate and start solving problems and changing the world."

A task that for these students, begins here.

May the best bot win.

By Don Culpepper

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