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  International robotics students converge on Detroit for the 2018 ' FIRST Championship'

● Detroit to host the FIRST Championship (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 2018, 2019, 2020

● $90 million in economic impact and 120,000 visitors expected over three years

● Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) partners with DTE Energy Foundation, Ally Bank, Strategic Staffing Solutions and LEAR Corporation to activate Downtown’s parks and public spaces from April 20-29 to showcase city, attract next generation of STEM talent

DETROIT, APRIL 10, 2018 – For the first time, the DDP, in conjunction with DTE Energy Foundation, Ally Bank, Strategic Staffing Solutions and LEAR Corporation, will welcome the FIRST Championship global robotics competition to Detroit on April 25. Leading up to and during the competition, visitors can participate in new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-themed activations in Downtown Detroit’s parks and public spaces that will be free and open to all beginning April 20.

The FIRST Championship, which runs from April 25-28 at COBO Center and Ford Field, will bring 40,000 students, coaches, mentors and family members to Downtown Detroit. Nearly 700 qualifying teams from across the world will compete in the culmination of a 16-week season where K-12 students prototype, build, program and operate robots to complete a task that increases in difficulty at each level. The championship, which Detroit will host through 2020, is projected to attract $90 million in economic impact over the three years.


Zannatun Alim, left, and Mahia Hossain, students at the Detroit International Academy for Young Women, work on their team's robot inside the University of Michigan's "Michigan Engineering Zone" inside the school's Detroit center on March 26, 2018. Robotics will take center stage later this month when tens of thousands of students from across the world descend on Detroit for the competition. The FIRST Championship — in which student teams battle robots on a playing field — marks the first time the event will be held in Michigan, and it arrives in the Motor City at a time when interest and participation in robotics have exploded across the state, organizers say. (Photo by Detroit News via AP David Guralnick)

“The Downtown Detroit Partnership and our team of sponsors have a rare opportunity to expose the next generation of talent to Detroit through our world-class parks and public spaces,” said Robert Gregory, Chief Planning and Public Spaces Officer, DDP. “We are excited to activate the parks with programming designed specifically for FIRST teams and their fans and to showcase that Detroit is one of the nation’s leaders in STEM.”

FIRST competitors and event attendees will find Downtown Detroit’s parks and public spaces thematically programmed with activities ranging from a pop-up arcade complete with the world’s largest game of PacMan to an ultimate frisbee challenge, life-sized foosball matches and the Brain Bowl, a tech-minded trivia test. Park activities will run from April 20-29 and will include an extensive lineup of food trucks with some parks hosting up to 14 vendors per day.

Open to competitors and the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day from April 20-29, Beacon Park on the western end of Downtown Detroit will be the first to kick off the activations with a “Parkade” - a completely free pop-up arcade that will feature more than 20 classic games, each reinvented using 2018 technology. Funded by the DTE Energy Foundation, Beacon Park is expected to draw a strong contingent of Michigan students, who lead the nation in FIRST participation with more than 450 teams.


Teacher Allison Schafer, left, and student Zaakya Artis, of Henry Ford High School, work on their team's robot inside the University of Michigan's "Michigan Engineering Zone" inside the school's Detroit center on March 26, 2018. Robotics will take center stage later this month when tens of thousands of students from across the world descend on Detroit for the competition. The FIRST Championship — in which student teams battle robots on a playing field — marks the first time the event will be held in Michigan, and it arrives in the Motor City at a time when interest and participation in robotics have exploded across the state, organizers say. (Photo by Detroit News via AP David Guralnick)

“The FIRST Championship is an opportunity for us to connect tens of thousands of visitors from around the world to our public spaces and highlight Detroit as a leader in innovation, mobility and connectivity,” said Nancy Moody, vice president of Public Affairs at DTE Energy. “We have purposefully programmed activities at Beacon Park to engage students, families and visitors to provide a welcome break during the rigorous competition weekend and ensure a memorable experience.”

PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS

BEACON PARK
In addition to the “Parkade,” DTE Energy Foundation will fund the world’s largest game of PacMan, a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot Challenge and the Brain Bowl, a trivia night for the tech minded. Students can give their brains a break through putt-putt golf, ultimate frisbee, bumper bubble ball soccer and a game night hosted by Vault of Midnight.

CAPITOL PARK
Thanks to LEAR Corporation, Downtown’s neighborhood park on Griswold and State will offer virtual reality demonstrations from premier Detroit-based tech and gaming companies. Local Detroit music students and artists will perform live using cutting edge technology advancements in the field. Visitors can order lunch from an abundance of food trucks as they sit and enjoy the historic park and its surrounding architecture.

CAMPUS MARTIUS PARK, CADILLAC SQUARE & WOODWARD ESPLANADE
Built by high school robotics students, Dr. Nitro’s Dessert Lab and Mad Science Show will take center stage at Detroit’s Gathering Place. Students can battle it out with robot-assisted games or take the traditional route with a friendly round of ping pong, chess and a variety of lawn games. Cadillac Square will host a food truck rally with up to 12 trucks per day and a Detroit Experience Factory Welcome Center where visitors can learn more about all things Detroit.

GRAND CIRCUS PARK
Strategic Staffing Solutions will give Grand Circus Park visitors the chance to unplug and go analog with life-sized human foosball and bowling, bumper-ball soccer challenges, DJ dance parties, and Battlebots board games. Family friendly food truck options will be on hand to help the students fuel up for the their next round of competition.

FEATURED PROGRAMMING
Presented by ALLY Bank, visitors will have the opportunity to experience technology innovation up close and personal through D-Tron the dancing robot performances and the Beaumont Art bike. A DJ, food truck rally, street performers and oversized lawn games will offer endless entertainment. Locations for this programming are being finalized.

About Downtown Detroit Partnership
Downtown Detroit Partnership strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic, and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. For more information, visit downtowndetroitparks.com.


 

 

 

   
 
 

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