INDIANAPOLIS (January 14, 2014) — IndianaFIRST is pleased to announce that the site of the
This one-day event will allow students on the top twenty-four FIRST (For Inspiration and
Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics teams in Indiana to compete against each other
for the title of IndianaFIRST Robotics Champion. These FRC teams expose students to the
excitement of competitive robotics, inspiring many to continue on to science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) career pathways.
“While Elkhart is known as the RV Capital of the World, we also received press as one of the
hardest-hit places during the country’s economic downturn,” said Brian Boehler, Robotics
Director at the ETHOS Science Center. “Bringing more STEM-related jobs back to the area by
focusing on robotics programs for students will hopefully put us back on the map. We have a lot
of companies that have come together to support these programs so we’re excited to show off
something that has become so important to our community.”
Elkhart was chosen as the 2014 State Championship site after submitting a proposal to the
IndianaFIRST Competition Committee in December. The site was an easy choice due to the large
amount of space they have available, not only for the competition field and pit areas for the
robotics teams, but also for other potential activities such as a technology and college fair and
areas for other robotics programs to demo. The space itself, the North Side Middle School gym, is
one of the largest middle school gyms in the country. It will give the event an exciting
atmosphere similar to sporting championships and every seat in the venue provides an excellent
view of the competition field. The gym will also be able to offer up to four concession locations
and teams will be able to bring in their own food, which helps to cut down on costs for many of
Another selling point of the North Side Middle School is the proximity of area hotels. There are
over 20 hotels within a three-mile radius of the school as well as multiple restaurants and several
hardware stores, an obvious benefit for teams in need of additional parts and tools. The school
also has 2,000 free parking spots, which will help accommodate team school buses and trailers as
well as event spectators.
There are currently fifty-two FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams throughout Indiana. FRC
teams are the highest level of FIRST robotics programs and engage high school students with
coaches and mentors to design, build, and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against
other competitors. Applying math and science concepts, teamwork, and strategic problem
solving skills, these robotics teams are as close to “real-world engineering” as students can get.
While the State Championship is an off-season event that takes place after the FIRST World
Championship in April, there are two qualifying regional events that take place in Indiana: the
Crossroads Regional held at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology from March 6th – 8th, and the
Boilermaker Regional held at Purdue University from March 20th – 22nd.
For more information on the IndianaFIRST State Championship and to learn the finalized dates of
the event, please continue to check the website at www.IndianaFIRST.org/events. You’ll also be
able to find more information at the ETHOS Science Center website at www.ethosinc.org.
IndianaFIRST is an organization dedicated to growing FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of
Science and Technology) robotics programs in the state of Indiana. 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.