FLINT — A three-team alliance of Lightning Robotics, Team 862 of Canton; More Martians, Team 70 of Goodrich; and Foley Freeze, Team 910 of Madison Heights won the Kettering University FIRST Robotics District Competition in Flint on Saturday, March 2.

More than 3,000 people attended the two-day district competition to watch 40 of the state’s best high school robotics teams compete inside Kettering’s Recreation Center. Kettering’s district contest is one of 11 tournament sites in Michigan. Winning teams qualify for state and national tournaments in April.

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Taking second-place honors was a three-team alliance of the Chimeras, Team 1684 of Lapeer; Dreadbots, Team 3656 of Dexter; and PoHo Robos, Team 3667 of Port Huron.   The coveted Chairman’s Award went to Truck Town Thunder, Team 68 of Ortonville. The Chairman’s Award is considered the most prestigious honor awarded by FIRST Robotics. It automatically qualifies Truck Town Thunder for the national competition in April.

Other awards presented at Kettering’s FIRST Robotics District Competition this weekend were:
* Engineering Inspiration: Lightning Robotics, Team 862 of Canton
* Rookie All-Star: Flat Mountain Mechanics, Team 4819 of Mount Pleasant
* Industrial Design: Dreadbots, Team 3656 of Dexter
* Quality: Chimeras, Team 1684 of Lapeer
* Engineering Excellence: Enginerds, Team 2337 of Grand Blanc
* Innovation in Control: Desperate Penguins, Team 1504 of Okemos
* Creativity: G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons of Fenton
* Entrepreneurship: Metal & Soul, Team 2604 of Capac
* Team Spirit: Gearheads, Team 1189 of Grosse Pointe
* Gracious Professionalism: Super Power, Team 326 of Romulus
* Imagery: Foley Freeze, Team 910 of Madison Heights
* Highest Rookie Seed: Flat Mountain Mechanics, Team 4819 of Mount Pleasant
* Industrial Safety: Truck Town Thunder, Team 68 of Ortonville
* Judges’ Award: Big Mo, Team 314 of Flint
* Rookie Inspiration: S.C.O.T.S., Team 4776 of Howell

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FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a national effort to inspire careers in engineering, science and technology. This year’s game is Ultimate Ascent, a fast-paced game played on a court 27 feet wide by 54 feet long, where robots throw colorful frisbees into slots positioned at different heights and then climb a tall tower for extra points.

Michigan’s FIRST Robotics state championship will be in Ypsilanti April 11-13, and the national championship games are in St. Louis, Mo., April 25-27. To read more on FIRST in Michigan, visit www.firstinmichigan.org.

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Kettering University is a nationally ranked Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Business university in Flint. Kettering has been hosting FIRST Robotics events since 2000.  About 20 percent of all Kettering University students engaged with FIRST Robotics prior to arriving on campus, making Kettering University a national leader in FIRST. For more on Kettering University, visit www.kettering.edu.