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Dust Control Technology sponsors robotics team

World Cement,

Dust Control Technology is co-sponsoring a team of high school students dedicated to building working robots, as part of the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competitions.

The series of events, known as ‘Sport for the Mind’™, are modeled after athletic events to stimulate interest and participation. Dust Control Technology is supporting Icarus 2081, a robotics team comprising 20 students from Notre Dame High School and Quest Charter Academy, both in Peoria.

The FIRST competitions are specifically set up to encourage teamwork and interaction between people and groups with different strengths.

Commenting on the event, Dust Control Technology’s CEO, Edwin Peterson, said: “It’s fascinating to see the designs these teams come up with, and then to watch them compete head-to-head. We’re proud to contribute to the emerging generation of scientists and engineers, who will be working to solve some of the world’s toughest problems.”

“The competitions are specifically set up to encourage teamwork and interaction between people and groups with different strengths,” explained Team Icarus member John Nogaj. “Every team has the same objective: engineering and building a robot to perform specific tasks for each competition. Teams have just six weeks to complete their designs, from a common kit of parts supplied by FIRST. It’s not uncommon for the completed robots to weigh as much as 150 pounds.”

Team Icarus has already experienced success, winning the 2012 Boilermaker Regional, the Engineering Inspiration Award at the 2013 Crossroads Regional, and the Engineering Excellence Award at the 2014 Wisconsin Regional.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, and has raised more than US$ 19 million for nearly 900 college scholarships to be awarded in 2014.

Nogaj continued: “This year’s event was a little like a soccer tournament. The machines were teamed up into 3-robot alliances, assigned at random by FIRST, and each alliance faced an opposing team. Points were scored every time the robot tossed an exercise ball through a goal, and extra points were awarded for each robot-to-robot pass. At the same time, the other team was working to score its own goals and actively obstruct the opponent’s progress.”

Other FIRST sponsors include NASA, Boeing, United Technologies, General Motors and Google.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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