The FIRST Official Kickoff was an educational and exciting event that was hosted by Montgomery High School on January 3. Students from 35 schools arrived at 8 am on Saturday morning. After breakfast FRC mentors gave Engineering Workshops on Autodesk Inventor, Pneumatics, Gearboxes and Transmissions, the 2015 roboRIO, and Sensors in order to educate students on several different aspects of Robotics. After attending the workshops, all students and staff assembled in the auditorium to see the Kickoff broadcast streaming from Manchester, NH.

1403 advisor Tim Leicht, MHS Principal Paul Popadiuk, MTSD Superintendent Nancy H. Gartenberg, and a youth coordinator from the Department of Defense individually gave speeches expressing support for the local Robotics community. Shortly after their speeches, a video was shown that revealed the official FRC competition for 2015.

This year’s competition, Recycle Rush, involves creating a robot that hoists totes and recycling bins and stacks them on one another. In addition to that, each team may lift litter (pool noodles) and place it inside the recycling bin for additional points. For every tote that is stacked, points are earned for the team’s alliance. In qualification rounds, the winner of the match does not matter- teams are ranked by their average score rather than their win/loss record.

Kickoff has officially kicked off what will be, the intense, fierce, and vigorous build season.

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