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dbusiness -North American International Auto Show that the global FIRST Championship student robotics competition will take place at Detroit’s Cobo Center and Ford Field

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Inventor Dean Kamen announce at the North American Auto Show that the The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) championship is expected to draw 30,000 attendees to Detroit, including students aged 6-18, parents, friends, mentors, coaches, volunteers, and over 200 Fortune 500 sponsors. The organization was founded by Kamen in 1989, and has a global reach of more than 460,000 students.

Twenty-five states and 35 countries are expected to be represented during three simultaneous robotics competitions, where student teams are required to build a robot capable of completing a challenge. The challenge, such as picking up a basketball and throwing it into a basket, changes annually. The FIRST championship has a significant economic impact on the host city.

For example, the FIRST competition held in St. Louis last year created an overall economic impact of $30 million, and drew 43,000 attendees who booked 25,000 hotel rooms. So far, FIRST has provided more than $30 million in college scholarships. Detroit alone boasts 60 FIRST teams, including Holy Redeemer Grade School in southwest Detroit. Last week, the school completed work on three STEM classrooms which will be used, in part, to support the Holy Redeemer FIRST Lego League team, Redeemer Bots.

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