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Robotics Competition Unveiled

First Annual Robotics STEAMWORKS Competition Kickoff Event Hosted by CORI, OSU & PAST

Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.37.58 AM

Last Saturday, The Center of Robotics Innovation (CORI) joined The Ohio State University and PAST to host a kickoff event for the FIRST Robotics Global Competition at the PAST Innovation Lab, located at 1003 Kinnear Road, at the mouth of Columbus’ emerging Kinnear Road Tech Corridor.

FIRST® Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind,TM where imagination and innovation come together. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg). In its 26th year of competition, 3,128 teams with roughly 75,000 students and 19,000 mentors from 24 countries will build robots. FIRST is notoriously secretive about the details of each upcoming competition to help heighten the competitive nature. This kickoff event and many others across the nation, heard about the challenge for the first time. will be the first time any of the

Students from 19 Central Ohio high school robotics teams converged on the PAST Innovation Lab to discover what the FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKSÔ challenge is for the 2017 competition season. Among those 19 schools with robotics teams two rookie schools will be attending the kickoff event – a first in Central Ohio – and OSU Engineering students were on hand to mentor and encourage the robotics teams as they learn what challenges lay ahead of them.

Filled to capacity, nearly 300 students attended the kickoff event. They watched a NASA livestream global broadcast of the robotics competition challenge parameters and students got a look at the new CORI world class robotics arena that has been constructed inside the PAST Innovation Lab. Students and teams got their FIRST Robotics kits that they will need to begin building their robots for the first scrimmage in March 2017.

All 19 teams will have six weeks to design and build their robots to compete in the upcoming CORI scrimmage at the PAST Innovation Lab robotics arena on February 18, 2017. Last year in the first CORI-sponsored robotics scrimmage, 10 Ohio teams participated at PAST Innovation Lab testing their robotic designs in a full competition scale arena. Of those 10 teams, six went on to regional semifinalists and three went to World Championship. Providing students access to a place to practice, compete and modify their robot chassis before competition has been a game-changer. The students and their coaches are excited about the upcoming challenges and opportunities.

The Center of Robotics Innovation (CORI) is a program of the PAST Foundation focused on enhancing skill-based learning of robotics to support Ohio workforce development. Through a growing partnership of schools, teams, businesses and philanthropic organizations, CORI uses FIRST® Robotics to inspire students to explore science, technology, engineering and math. Encouraging local universities and businesses to engage directly with students, CORI provides mentors.

PAST’s Innovation Lab is an educational R&D prototyping facility, located in Columbus, Ohio. PAST partners with K12 schools, post-secondary institutions, as well as industry and community partners, designing and researching new and innovative programs that deliver rigorous and relevant education. PAST’s immersive student programs include the Hybrid Teaching Model and Learning Labs that blur the line between coursework and workforce development alongside informal bridge programs that accelerate STEM experiences after and out of school. PAST professional development works with administrators and teachers providing effective tools and training for transforming education, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning into classrooms.  Integrated into all PAST programs is evidence-based research that continuously informs design and prototyping.

For over 16 years, PAST, a non-profit foundation, has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. In 2014, PAST was recognized at CGI America by former President Bill Clinton for their outstanding work, and again in 2015 for their achievements in improving education in rural America. Also in 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab was recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design. In 2016, PAST Foundation was awarded Excellence in Innovation by the United States Department of Education and the Smart 50 top Innovation Award for Central Ohio.

For more information on PAST Foundation and how you can connect linking learning to life, visit or contact us at

Last Year’s Robotics Arena with scrimmage teams

Last Years’ Robotics Arena with scrimmage teams

New 2017 Official Robotics Arena

NEW 2017 Official Robotics Arena


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