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News & Events

06-22-2007

New York Power Authority Donates $3,000 to Clarkson-Massena-Salmon River FIRST Robotics Team

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/nypa2007.jpg]

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently presented a $3,000 donation to the Clarkson University - Massena High School - Salmon River High School FIRST Robotics Team, Division By New York Power Authority Donates $3,000 to Clarkson-Massena-Salmon River FIRST Robotics TeamZero.

NYPA's continued support of the Clarkson-Massena-Salmon River FIRST program has been instrumental in the team's success, said Bob Davis, director of Clarkson's SPEED (Students Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. "We are grateful to them for this contribution."

The SPEED program provides a unique opportunity for Clarkson undergraduate students to work with and mentor students from two area high schools, Massena and Salmon River, in engineering, science and technology. Davis said that these high school students will benefit directly from NYPA's generous support.

Division By Zero took first place this spring in the Long Island Regional of the First Robotics Competition in Hempstead, N.Y. The team's commitment to community service also prompted the judging panel to award the team a judges' award for its unique efforts, performance and dynamics to inspire students to pursue careers in math, science, technology and engineering. Division By Zero's university and high school team members have been instrumental in promoting and mentoring Lego League robotics teams at the elementary level and Vex robotics teams at the middle school level. The team also received the highly coveted Xerox Creativity Award at the third annual Finger Lakes Regional Competition in Rochester.

FIRST Robotics challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a series of competitions designed by internationally renowned engineers and inventors Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers, as well as a committee of engineers and other professionals. The competition has grown to include more than 1,300 teams competing in 37 regional events.

One of the highlights of the FIRST Robotics Competition is the availability of educational scholarships to FIRST students. In partnership with FIRST, Clarkson University awards up to 12 merit-based scholarships to students who have participated on a FIRST team. Each scholarship recipient will receive up to $6,000 per year for four years upon enrollment at Clarkson University.

FIRST Scholarships impact lives and support the positive development of the nation's future workforce. In 2006, 59 colleges and universities from the United States and Canada, three professional associations, and three companies offered nearly $8 million in scholarships to 345 FIRST Robotics Competition students.

The FIRST team is part of Clarkson University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program, one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives exemplifying Clarkson's boundary-spanning approach to education. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities for more than 250 undergraduates annually. Projects involve engineering design and analysis, and fabrication. In addition, students learn real-world business skills such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communications skills. SPEED receives its primary financial support from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation with contributions from ExxonMobil and Turner Construction Company. The program was recognized with the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and the 2002 Corporate and Foundation Alliance Award for its exceptional contributions to improving undergraduate engineering education.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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