LEWISTON — Maine’s sixth FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition event will be held Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at the the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

The Pine Tree District Competition will host 40 high school robotics teams from New England, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont Massachusetts and Connecticut, and attract over 2,000 spectators. The ice arena will be transformed into a competition field to play the game that was released at the Jan. 6 kick-off event by FIRST headquarters. The number of FIRST robotics competition teams in Maine has grown to over 25.

A FIRST competition is a sporting event using robots created and built by students with the guidance of professional mentors. With donor funding and volunteer labor, the event is made possible by contributions from individuals and business partners from around the state. Members of the community interested in a contribution of any kind should contact the planning committee, which is comprised of individuals from the Pine Tree District and includes educators, engineers and medical professionals. The committee’s contact email is [email protected]

To give a contribution, make checks payable to FIRST Pine Tree District, and send to: NEFIRST, 400 Woodland Ave., P.O. Box 940, Bloomfield, CT 06002, (860) 819-3300.

The goal of the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition is to join with the entire FIRST community to inspire Maine students to consider science/technology pathways to academics and careers through robotics programs. Since 2012, with the help of Robotics Institute of Maine, the number of Maine students participating in FIRST Robotics has doubled. The Pine Tree event helps to make these programs more accessible to Maine students and students from around New England who travel to Maine to participate.

Robotics programs offer a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience, which prepares students for technology careers. They help promote leadership and teamwork skills, engineering and physics principles, software programming skills, project management skills, critical and strategic thinking skills and presentation skills. Through these efforts, there will be more students majoring in engineering and technology at Maine universities and community colleges, a greater number of workers available for technically oriented jobs and a larger base of high-skilled workers to retain, attract and start technology companies in Maine.

To learn more about FIRST worldwide, visit www.firstinspires.org. To learn more about the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition, visit www.pinetreedistrict.org. To learn more about the Maine FIRST teams, visit www.MaineFIRST.org.

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