The Championship of the Americas, one of the four largest VEX robotics competitions in the world, is supported and organized by the CREATE Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding educational organizations, students, teachers and mentors in advancing the education of youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “Our mission is to inspire and prepare the youth of today to become the engineers and scientists of tomorrow by giving students the chance to participate in competitive robotics competitions that are compelling, accessible, inspiring and safe,” said Jim Schulte, President of CREATE Foundation. “When it comes to competitive robotics, we proudly use VEX as our platform of choice and are thrilled to collaborate with Innovation First, Inc. in hosting the Championship of the Americas.”
Top qualifying teams from Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ontario, Canada and Queretaro, Mexico will unite at the Omaha Civic Center to compete with and against some of the best VEX robotics teams from across the Americas and to test their engineering skills through a rigorous series of head-to-head robotic battles. The 12 teams at the Championship of the Americas to make it to the semi-finals of the Hybrid Tournament, the winners of the Excellence Award, the Programming Skills Challenge, the Robot Driver Skills Challenge will earn the opportunity to compete with more than 200 teams in the VEX Robotics World Championship Competition, to take place at the Dallas Convention Center on April 30 – May 2, 2009.
The competitions engage students in strategic thinking, engineering and programming and test the skills of the robot team members. More than 75 of the participating middle and high school teams will execute the game Elevation during the three day event. In addition to Elevation, the game played worldwide by middle and high school students, CREATE has two pilot games that allows both younger and older students to participate. Rapid Roll, geared for elementary students, will have 10 teams participating and Magbot Mayhem, an advanced robotics game, will also have nearly ten teams this year.
“This competition is a great opportunity for teams to fine-tune many of the critical skills needed to carry them through to the culminating World Championship, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving while under intense pressure,” said Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition at Innovation First, Inc.
Also supporting the Championship of the Americas is NASA, who will broadcast the inaugural championship via a live webcast at mms://sargasso-3.arc.nasa.gov/vexomaha. Additional information about VEX Robotics Competitions and the Create Foundation is available at www.robotevents.com and http://www.create-found.org/.
About Innovation First International
Innovation First, a privately held corporation, was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots, and is now an industry leader in the hobby, competition, education and toy markets. The company’s award winning Vex Robotics Design System, VEXplorer, HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures and IFI Robotics span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center, and office located together in a 13 acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit www.innovationfirst.com for additional information.
About the CREATE Foundation
The CREATE (Competitive Robotics Enhancing and Advancing Technology Education) Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. Headquartered in Omaha, NE it was founded on the belief that compelling and accessible technology education is vital to the future of our country. CREATE works with teachers, coaches, mentors and students to build teams and technology knowledge. The foundation’s goal is to inspire and prepare students to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. In addition to hosting workshops for teachers, assisting local groups with local robotics competitions, CREATE also hosts the Robotics Championship of the Americas one of the largest academic robotics competitions in the world.
Cohn & Wolfe for Innovation First, Inc.
Lindsey Carlin, 310-967-2908