NASA‘s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will host the kickoff event of a national robotic competition for students in grades 9 through 12 on Saturday.
The opening ceremony for this year’s FIRST Robotics, managed by the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology organization, will take place at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration and is expected to draw more than 400 area students, NASA said Friday.
Twenty-four teams of high school students from the states of Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky registered to join the competition.
Participants will aim to build, design and test a robotic platform over a six-week period.
Teams also have an opportunity to compete in district and regional competitions nationwide in March and April to qualify for the national championships scheduled to occur in Houston from April 18 to 21 and/or in Detroit from April 25 to 28.
FIRST aims to engage youth in science, technology, engineering and math.
NASA and the space agency's Robotics Alliance Project offer grants to high school teams and support FIRST Robotics competitions.