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Students Take 2nd in Robotics Contest

Team 294, made up of students from Mira Costa and Redondo Union high schools, takes second place in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Approximately 1,300 high school students competed.

"Rebound Rumble" was the name of the game as students from Mira Costa and Redondo Union worked together to drive their robot creations to score.

In the end, the team beat 60 other high school teams in the Los Angeles Regional FIRST Robotics Competition to take second place with the other two teams in their "alliance." The three teams in the alliance that won first place advance to the national competition, April 25-28 in St. Louis, MO.

Held in the Long Beach Convention Center and open to the public at no charge, the three-day competition, which concluded Saturday, included 63 regional teams,  and a team from Las Vegas, Chile and Brazil.

Rebound Rumble, this year's game, was played by having two alliances of three teams each, with each alliance trying to put as many basketballs as possible in the hoops during the two-minute and 15-second match. Balls shot into higher hoops scored their team more points and team alliances received bonus points if their robots are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.

Through a new partnership between FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and the Microsoft Corporation, teams were also able to control robots for a portion of the match using the Kinect for Xbox 360 system.

Called a “varsity sport of the mind,” the robotics competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, according to a press release. "Under strict rules, limited resources and a six-week time limit, students are challenged to raise funds, build and program a life-size robot and learn about teamwork."

FIRST is a program that partners high school students with professional mentors in their quest to design and build a robot. 

Raytheon engineers have worked with 19 of the 66 competing teams, including the Beach Cities Robotics group, as the MCHS and RUHS students call themselves.

Members of Beach Cities Robotics demonstrated their robots at the Grand View Elementary science expo last week in the video tied to this article: .

The April championship event will be live streamed by NASA via webcast.

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