FIRST Robotics Team to Host Robot Demonstration on Sunday, February 19, 2017

Last Updated on Feb 15, 2017 at 10:21am

FIRST Robotics Team (FRC) 1629, GaCo, will be demonstrating its robot on Sunday, February 19, 2017, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society (GEARS) building located in Accident, Maryland, at the Industrial Park. The open house will be the last chance to see Team 1629’s robot in action before it gets packed up and delivered to various regional competitions this year.

In addition to its robot, FRC 1629 will have several of its LEGO models on display, including the interactive map of Garrett County (pictured) and a working steam engine made completely from LEGO’s which celebrates the FIRST STEAMWORKSSM theme on which this year’s game is based. The team uses LEGO’s to engage younger students to help ensure its success in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.)

The mission of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Every year, FRC teams design a new robot to compete in regional competitions.

In 2017, more than 3,400 teams, comprised of 85,000+ students from around the world, will compete for glory in FIRST STEAMWORKSSM. On January 7, 2017, the new game and playing field were unveiled and teams received a Kickoff Kit made up of donated items and components worth tens of thousands of dollars – and only limited instructions. Working with adult mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these young inventors build a robot, their teams will participate in one or more of the Regional and District events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

FIRST STEAMWORKS, the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition game, invites two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Each three-team alliance prepares to take flight in three ways: Build Steam Pressure - Robots collect fuel represented by green balls. They score it in high and low goals in their boiler. As fuel is scored steam pressure in the tank on the alliance’s airship builds – the high goal builds pressure faster than the low goal. Start Rotors - Robots retrieve and deliver gears to pilots on their airship who then install them on the appropriate rotor. Once a gear train is complete the rotor can be started. Prepare for Flight - Adventure clubs want their robots to climb aboard their airships, so they can assist the pilots during the race. Autonomous Period: Robots operate independently from preprogrammed instructions for the first 15 seconds. Teleoperated Period: Operators take control for the final two minutes and fifteen seconds.

Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind™, FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. It’s the only school sport where all members may turn pro if they choose. Teams of 10 or more high school students (ages 14-18/grades 9-12) are challenged to build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors, raise funds, design a team “brand,” and hone teamwork skills. It’s as close to real-world business and engineering as a student can get.

Teams compete with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at over 120 multi-day events worldwide - all leading up to the 2017 FIRST Championship at The Dome at America's Center, April 26-29 in St. Louis. All events are free and open to the public.

The hardest fun you’ll ever have has its rewards - participating FIRST Robotics Competition students are eligible to apply for nearly $30 million in scholarships from more than 200 colleges and universities.

FIRST isn’t about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country,” said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development and FIRST Founder, adding, “FIRST is more than robots. The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills. Kids often come in not knowing what to expect – of the program or of themselves. They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future”.

FRC Team 1629 will begin its 13th season this year and is partnered with the Garrett County Public School System, Pillar Innovations LLC, Wilson Supply Inc., Beitzel Corporation, Inc., Garrett Container Systems, Inc., Phenix Technologies, GEARS and Garrett County Government.

Please join the team for the Open House and experience firsthand the excitement of FIRST. The team’s progress and activities can be tracked by visiting the team’s website at

More information about FIRST and Robotics in Garrett County can be found at the following websites or contact numbers:

FIRST Robotics: or (800) 871-8326>

FIRST Robotics Team 1629 (FRC): or 301-334-8926

Directions to GEARS, and weather related announcements concerning the open house can be received by calling 301-334-8926 or 301-914-1344.

FIRST Robotic's Garrett County Lego Map

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