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ROBOTICS Harding students prepare for competition



Published: Sat, January 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Harding is again teaming up with engineers from Delphi Packard.

WARREN -- Harding High School's robotics team is preparing for its fifth year of competition, hoping to continue its track record of success.

More than 600 high schools from around the world are kicking off the 2002 FIRST robotics season this weekend, learning the details of this year's challenge.

The Harding team is pairing up with Delphi Packard Electric Systems for the fifth year to begin formulating a strategy.

Teams have six weeks to design and build a radio-controlled robot from a box of parts that includes a control system, electrical components, motors, batteries and other hardware.

FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- is a nonprofit organization created in 1989 to encourage high school students to consider professions involving math, science, engineering and technology.

New challenges: The competition changes each year, with teams completing a specific task on a playing field designed for the robots. The program pairs engineers with students and teachers to simulate real-world engineering challenges.

The Harding team, called Delphi ELITE, placed in the top 11 in its division of 90 teams at the 2001 national championship in Orlando, Fla.

In 1999, the team was part of the national championship winning alliance.

After building the robot with size, weight and other restrictions, teams test their engineering skills and imagination at regional competitions and the national event.

Competition dates are March 14-16 for the Buckeye regional in Cleveland; April 4-6 for the Canadian regional in Toronto; and April 25-27 for the championship at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in Orlando.




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