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Purdue Brings Robotics Teams To Campus For Boiler Bot Battle Competition
Updated November 7, 2017 4:31 AM | Filed under: Event
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(WEST LAFAYETTE) - Purdue FIRST Programs will be hosting the FRC Robotics competition Boiler Bot Battle Friday and Saturday November 10 and 11. This weekend the competition at the Boiler Bot Battle event at Purdue University in The Purdue Armory will give teams an opportunity to practice and prepare for the upcoming 2018 competition season.

"The Super Bowl of Smarts" is one term often used to describe these FIRST robotics competitions. While the official 2018 season does not start until January 6, 2018, events like this allow teams to practice in a full sized venue and gain priceless experience they otherwise could not get.

Purdue FIRST Programs 2017 President Kija Davis said, "Boiler Bot Battle is not only another chance to play Steamworks, but it's also a chance to learn about Purdue and opportunities we offer here. Purdue FIRST Programs is excited to show students who share our passion for STEM why we love being Boilermakers"

Brittany Ammerman Purdue FIRST Programs Director of Regional Development said, "Some teams will be bringing two robots, so we plan on having a total of 26-28 bots." She went on to explain why some teams build more than one robot. "Teams develop a higher level of competitiveness by honing their driving and competition skills by running two robots. Other teams will build a robot during the off season for practice. Events like this give them the opportunity to test that bot in the stress of competition."

The importance of Purdue hosting an advanced STEM event like this FIRST Robotics Competition cannot be stressed enough. Purdue wants students that have the experience that this program provides. Students that have participated in this program consistently excel in the STEM environment.

While not really a battle, the competition is extremely fierce.

The game being played at Boiler Bot Battle is the FIRST FRC 2017 game "STEAMWORKS". The game consists of the robot shooting 5 inch whiffle balls into a 21 inch diameter goal that is about 8' off the floor. Additionally robots may score points by placing a game piece, shaped like a gear, that is about 12 inches in diameter onto a flexible peg. Human players (students) must then retrieve the gear from the flexible peg and place it onto another assembly before points are scored. An endgame option allows robots to score even more points by climbing a rope.

The matches are timed and anything can happen. Often the final score will be decided by just one single event. Just like in a basketball game the difference between winner and looser is often just a fraction of a second. In fact, the atmosphere of a robotics competition is markedly similar to a basketball game; fans decked out in spirited clothing, constant cheering, and the moments of euphoria when a team scores just before the buzzer rings. It is a truly incredible experience for all involved.

FIRST is tackling the trend of declining enrollment in science, mathematics and engineering programs by using a competition sports style model that makes STEM learning fun and inspiring for students. Some have questioned if something "fun" can be an effective tool to change peoples lives but initial data from a three year study by FIRST on students in their first year of college indicates that FIRST's positive impacts continue into post secondary education, with FIRST alumni continuing to show impacts on STEM-related attitudes, as well as impacts on interest in engineering and technology-related majors, engineering course-taking, and STEM-related internships and summer jobs. Results to date indicate that FIRST is already making a lasting difference in career interests and educational choices for the young people who participate in the program. So students can learn and have fun at the same time! See the full study results at

Currently 23 FRC teams, from around the state of Indiana, 4 from Illinois, 1 from Kentucky, and 1 from Ohio are registered for Boiler Bot Battle. Here is the team list as of November 7th.

  • EVENT: Boiler Bot Battle, High School Robotics Competition
  • WHERE: Purdue University Campus - Purdue Armory, 812 3rd street, West Lafayette, IN 47906
  • WHEN: November 10 & 11, 2017
  • ADMISSION: No charge and open to the public
  • SPECIAL NOTE: For your safety some areas require humans to wear safety glasses. If you have your own, please bring them. If you don't, we will gladly supply you with a pair to wear.

Friday November 10th

  • 3:00-6:00pm Venue open for robot load in and practice rounds

  • 6:00pm-10:00pm Team Social

  • Saturday, November 11th

  • 8:00-8:30am Opening Ceremonies

  • 8:30-11:30am Qualification Matches

  • 11:30am-1:00pm Lunch

  • 1:00-1:30pm Alliance Selection

  • 1:40-5:30pm Elimination Matches

  • 6:00pm-6:45pm Awards and Closing Ceremonies

This competition is part of the larger organization, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and their FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students. Over 3500 teams and 78000 students and professional mentors across the world (including places like Canada, Mexico, China, Israel, and Australia), will be participating in District, Regional, and State-level events in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 FIRST World Championship in Detroit, MI. and Houston, TX.

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST robotics competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, robotics teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. These competitions create "real-world engineering" experiences for all participating students.

In addition to teacher mentors, volunteer professional mentors lend their time and expertise to help guide the work and development by each FIRST robotics team. For more information about this event, or FIRST Robotics, please contact: Renee Becker-Blau, IndianaFIRST Executive Director, at 414 704-1415. Additional information is also available at the website: .


Interesting Season Facts -

Sponsor Information
This program wouldn't be possible without support from the 2017 Boiler Bot Battle event sponsors: School of Aeronautics & Astronautics, School of Chemical Engineering, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Office of Future Engineers, School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, Polytechnic Institute, and AndyMark.

About Purdue FIRST Programs
Purdue FIRST Programs (PFP) is a student organization and class that is based at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It is a group composed of approximately 90 students who work together to support the mission and vision of FIRST, primarily through mentoring students in the surrounding Lafayette and West Lafayette communities. Currently, Purdue FIRST Programs supports almost 30 elementary and middle school FIRST Lego League and FIRST Tech Challenge teams and 4 FIRST Robotic Competition teams. Purdue FIRST Programs also holds a fall qualifying tournament for FIRST Lego League with a FIRST Tech Challenge competition, a spring competition for FIRST Lego League teams, and an off season competition for FRC teams. In addition, PFP also participates in outreach events throughout the year on campus and in the community.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and more than $25 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for students in Grades 9-12; FIRST Tech Challenge for Grades 7-12; FIRST LEGO League for Grades 4-8; and FIRST LEGO League Jr. for Grades K-3. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to .

About IndianaFIRST
IndianaFIRST is an organization dedicated to growing FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics programs in the state of Indiana. FIRST is a multinational non-profit organization that aspires to transform our culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. Founded in the fall of 2001 as the Indiana-based affiliate of FIRST, IndianaFIRST brings FIRST programming to students in grades K-12, teaching them hands-on skills in engineering, science, and technology that they can relate back to their class work. Kids compete against other kids in district, state, and world championship competitions in what is frequently called "The Super Bowl of Smarts."

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