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Robot competition launched to inspire tech careers

Media statement November 27th, 2007

Robot competition launched to inspire technology careers

The Employers and Manufacturers Association Northern (EMA) supports the launch today of the New Zealand FIRST Robotics Sports Competition.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

"We congratulate the Auckland Export Year Group for picking up this initiative as part of its Export Year programme," says EMA chief executive, Alasdair Thompson.

The robotics competition is for teams of up to 20 students from secondary schools throughout the Auckland region to design, fundraise for and build a robot that will compete in a game as decided by the international organizers in the USA.

"The FIRST programme will see the involvement of corporate sponsors (for each school team), academia, engineers and technical staff from companies all working together.

"Their aim will be for their team to win the New Zealand competition and then represent the country at the international championship final in the USA in April, 2009.

"The EMA sees this initiative as a very positive step for the country, as it encourages students to pursue science and new technology in a team environment - skills which all have wide application in today's business world.

"The close relationship between business and the schools in the competition can produce a win-win situation for the students and the companies involved.

"EMA will support the competition by encouraging its members to become involved as sponsors or supplying mentors to the school teams, and by taking a place on the FIRST Robotics New Zealand Advisory Board."


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