Sharon Advocate - Friday,
September 2nd, 2005
new season beckons for the Sharon Youth Robotics Association (SYRA), and for all
Sharon youth that join in the excitement. Soon, robots custom-built to meet new
challenges will be under construction all over town.
The SYRA sponsors teams to compete in FIRST ("For Inspiration and Recognition of
Science and Technology") robotics challenges. This year, in addition to the
FIRST Lego League League (FLL) for youth 9-14 years of age, we will participate
in the new First Vex Challenge (FVC) for high school students.
In the past, Sharon teams have been very successful in state competition, and
have even represented Massachusetts at the FLL international competition in
Atlanta. Last season, we helped to launch the new FVC program at the Atlanta
Join us at the SYRA meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at the Sharon Public
Library to help form teams for the new season of both challenges. Our meetings
are open to all, the interested public as well as existing and prospective
members and coaches.
FLL teams are being registered now, and the kickoff for the 2005 challenge is to
be Monday, Sept. 12 at noon. FVC teams will start to be registered during
September, with the challenge announcement expected in October.
Our regular season meetings also will be at the library, at 6 p.m. each Tuesday,
through December. The SYRA would especially like to thank the Sharon Public
Library and its director, Barbra Nadler, for providing us a meeting place. It is
The FIRST program aspires "to create a world where science and technology are
celebrated . . . where young people dream of becoming science and technology
heroes", according to founder Dean Kamen, a prominent inventor and technologist.
The organization is based in New Hampshire, but sponsors robotics competitions
all over the world.
The FIRST LEGO League was created in partnership between FIRST and the LEGO
Company in 1998 (the pilot season) with 200 teams participating, and Sharon has
been represented since 1999. This past fall, 6,000 FLL teams all over the world
accepted the "No Limits" challenge (theme to address issues of disabilities),
engaging them in robotics design, as well as technological and social research.
This season, it is expected that close to 7000 teams will focus on one of the
world's most precious resources, in the Ocean Odyssey challenge.
The FIRST Vex Challenge is the result of a new partnership between FIRST and the
Radio Shack Corporation. In the spring of 2005, 50 teams demonstrated a new
robotic competition using new Radio Shack Vex Robotics kits at the FIRST
International competition in Atlanta GA. In this pilot season, 300 teams will
compete at 6 regional competitions, including the New England venue of Hartford,
Our continuing activities can be followed at the Sharon Youth Robotics
Association web site at www.syraweb.org. From there, links to all FIRST robotics
content as well as information on Sharon and regional robotics activities and
competitions can be found, with lots of photos.