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FIRST Robotics Exhibition Takes Over Campus Martius

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Robots hoop it up in downtown Detroit Tuesday.

Robots hoop it up in downtown Detroit Tuesday.

(credit: istock) Technology Report
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DETROIT — It was a little back-to-school reminder Tuesday in the atrium of the headquarters of Compuware and Quicken Loans, One Campus Martius in Detroit.

Five high school FIRST Robotics teams showed off their skill and science for two hours at midday in front of a constantly changing crowd of onlookers.

The teams demonstrated last season’s game, “Rebound Rumble,” in which hundred-pound robots shoot basketballs at standard baskets.

The exhibition was the brain child of Justin Lopas of West Bloomfield Township, in his second year as a summer intern at Quicken Loans. A graduate of Andover High School, he will attend the University of Michigan this fall and intends to major in electrical engineering.

“I thought it would be kind of cool to bring this competition to downtown Detroit, where there’s so much emphasis on technology and technology is booming,” Lopas said. “I wanted to show the downtown technology community, and anyone who might be walking by, what high school students are doing to prepare for careers in the STEM fields.”

That’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but you knew that.

Lopas said Quicken Loans quickly approved the idea. And as a result, teams from Cass Tech and Finney high schools in Detroit, Lake Orion High School, the Bloomfield Hills International Academy, and a joint team from Andover and Lahser high schools in Bloomfield Hills took over the Compuware-Quicken atrium Tuesday.

Passersby were invited to drive a robot, take a shot or two, and ask all the questions they pleased.

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