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Robots Return

Published: March 28, 2013

CHENEY, Wash. - As part of their ongoing effort to promote programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Eastern Washington University, with the assistance of Greater Spokane Incorporated, will once again bring the electrifying FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) to EWU's Reese Court Pavilion April 4-6.

The Spokane regional will bring more than 1,500 people to campus each day of the event. It is one of three regional robotics competitions statewide, and one of 57 in the U.S., with all participants hoping to make it to the national stage.

FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. It features a real-world challenge to be solved by research, critical thinking, construction, teamwork and imagination. After the rousing success of last year's Rebound Rumble, 38 high school teams will converge in Cheney for this year's game, Ultimate Ascent. Operating under strict rules and time limits, robots built and programmed by each team will shoot Frisbee's into goals at the far end of the field to score. At the end of the match, the robots climb "jungle-gym"-like pyramids to earn bonus points.

"EWU is once again honored to welcome these outstanding students to campus," said EWU President Rodolfo Arévalo. "As we saw last year, the energy, enthusiasm and innovation surrounding this competition will only encourage more students to take an interest in studying science and technology at Eastern and in our region's public schools."

By partnering with EWU, Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) can continue to advocate for STEM awareness, community investment and active participation in STEM initiatives that will inspire students to pursue careers in these fields.

"Last year, the regional competition was an incredible event and we are excited to be able to partner with EWU and FRC again this year," said Rich Hadley, CEO of Greater Spokane Incorporated. "Investing in STEM initiatives for our youth will help to provide a technically skilled workforce for our business community. FRC is a great way to inspire our students to be innovative problem solvers and to enter science, math and technical fields."

Winning teams from the EWU regional will advance to the FRC Championship in St. Louis, Mo., April 24-27 to compete against teams from the United States and around the world.

To support STEM education and specifically FIRST programs, EWU annually offers 15 academic scholarship awards to its freshman and sophomore students who have previously participated in FIRST competitions. Each award is for $2,000.

For more information about the FRC at Eastern, or to volunteer for the event, please visit EWU's robotics website, or contact FRC Regional Chairman Christian Hansen at or 509.359.6068.

For more information about Greater Spokane Incorporated and its STEM awareness and workforce development initiatives, visit, or contact Alisha Benson, Director of Education and Workforce at, or 509.321.3608.


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