ALLENDALE — Nearly 1,000 students on 41 high school teams from across the state are gathering at Grand Valley State University to compete in the FIRST Robotics District Competition March 16-17.

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) teams had six weeks to design and build robots for the competition. “Rebound Rumble,” this year’s game, challenges two competing “alliances” of three teams each to shoot the most basketballs through hoops with their robots.

FIRST Robotics helps students get hands-on experience solving real-world problems and discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology careers.

The FIRST West Michigan District Competition will be held Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Fieldhouse Arena on Grand Valley’s Allendale Campus.

The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. Complete information, including a detailed schedule and a list of teams, is available at

The 2012 season includes an estimated 2,355 teams — nearly 60,000 high school students — participating in 68 regional and district events worldwide. FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Learn more at


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