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St. Louis to host FIRST Robotics Competition (St. Louis Business Journal: October 7, 2009)

St. Louis Business Journal – by Kelsey Volkmann
Original Source: St. Louis to host FIRST Robotics Competition – St. Louis Business Journal:

St. Louis will host an international robotics competition founded by Segway creator Dean Kamen.

The FIRST Robotics Competition has been held in Atlanta the past six years, but after the contract expires next year, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis will be the new location in 2011, 2012 and 2013, said Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC). Kamen and the CVC plan to announce the news Wednesday night at the kick-off of SciFest, an international science festival at the St. Louis Science Center.

The robotics competition will have a direct spending impact of at least $7 million each year, said Donna Andrews, a CVC spokeswoman. Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 as a way to inspire young people to get involved in math and science. Called “the varsity sport for the mind,” FIRST has teams of at least 25 students raise funds, design a team “brand,” and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors for a chance at bragging rights and college scholarships. St. Louis has held regional FIRST events for several years, including one at Chaifetz Arena last year.

But now the city will be the home of the international competition, which attracts 15,000 competitors, plus their families.
And the immediate economic impact could be followed by more long-term benefits, according to Ratcliffe.

“To have all those kids here in St. Louis, it gives them a first-hand experience of the city,” she said. “They might be more inclined to go to college here … or they might want to come and work and live here in the future.”

Read more: St. Louis to host FIRST Robotics Competition – St. Louis Business Journal:

April 19th, 2010
Topic: FIRST News, Headline News, Robotics News Tags: None

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