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Students Compete in Challenge

Last weekend, the Staples Robotics Team participated in a frenzied, high energy worldwide robotics competition and garnered distinction as finalist in their division.

Members of the Staples team were among more than 10,000 young people who gathered last weekend in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship. Over 500 teams from 30 countries participated. The competition is the brainchild of Dean Kamen, a well-known inventor, to build talent and excellence in science and engineering. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan was at the event to present awards and Bill Gates sent a video message congratulating the competitors.

Five juniors comprised Staples' team, known as the "Wreckers." The team competed in the Hot Shot FIRST Tech Challenge. Since October, the team has been meeting three times a week at a team members' home. They built and programmed a robot to collect and fire balls at a designated target.  They worked with a mentor, Chris Yang, a recent graduate of M.I.T, on the project.

"I learned a lot about what it's like to be an engineer and the tools and skills engineers need," says Timothy Yang, a team member. "It's been a practical, hands on experience. It's different from school."

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