Feb 08, 2005

Silver Creek and Niwot High-School Teams Fine-Tune Robots for Regional 'First' Competition; Seagate Provides Funding, Technical Expertise

The last six weeks have been a crash course in high-tech product development for students at Niwot and Silver Creek High Schools. For these two teams of aspiring engineers, the product is a life-sized robot that - if all goes well - will perform a series of mechanical tasks in front of hundreds of tech-savvy spectators and a few eagle-eyed judges next month at the FIRST Robotics Colorado Regional Competition in Denver.

Working alongside these students for the past six weeks are engineers from Seagate Technology, Ball Aerospace and Lockheed-Martin. These engineers, who serve as mentors for the teams, bring with them a wealth of expertise in mechanical, electrical and software engineering-all essential disciplines in designing these complex computer-programmed machines. The mentors also bring a level of enthusiasm to the process that makes it hard to distinguish between the kids on the teams and the adults.

Seagate is sponsoring both teams, with $2,500 each, which goes toward the competition's entry fees and a bare-bones kit of parts. What these students add in the way of parts, for a more advanced robot, depends on their ability to raise additional funds, as well as their technical innovation.

Over the next two weeks, the Niwot and Silver Creek teams will be scrambling to work the bugs out of their mechanical inventions before shipping them off to a storage facility where they'll be held until the competition, March 24 - 26, at the University of Denver's Ritchie Center.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational non-profit organization that aspires to transform culture, making science, math, engineering and technology "cool" for kids as sports are today. The FIRST Robotics Competition involves nearly a thousand teams from the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Great Britain. The program, aimed at bringing students and professionals together to solve a technical challenge, is meant to be a life-changing, career-molding experience for students. And the engineers who mentor these students say they experience again many of the reasons why they chose engineering as a profession. Also, visit Colorado FIRST, to learn more local and statewide teams and regional competitions.

About Seagate

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics applications. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

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