FIRST Tech President to Attend FTC-Iowa Championship February 21-22

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UI to host 48 high school/middle school robotics teams

Donald Bossi, president of the nationally acclaimed FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), is scheduled to attend the FTC-Iowa Championship Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 and 22, at the Marriott Coralville Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville.

Hosted by the University of Iowa College of Engineering and Rockwell Collins, the free and public celebration of high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills will begin at 8:45 a.m. each day.

Bossi, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from MIT, has excelled during a 20-year career with several high technology companies, primarily in the fiber optics field. He also has four U.S. patents and is the author of numerous technical presentations.

On Friday, Feb. 21, teams will be judged and inspected. The competition itself—between 48 teams composed of students, mentors, and coaches—will take place Saturday, Feb. 22.

FTC in Iowa is organized by the UI. Since January 2010 the UI, in collaboration with the Official National Sponsor, Rockwell Collins, has hosted workshops, training sessions, kick-off events, and competition events for the FTC teams located in Iowa and Nebraska. Each team consists of up to 15 middle and high school students, who design, build and program a robot. These students work with the guidance of adult coach and mentors. The robots then compete against each other during the FTC-Iowa Championship, with the winners advancing to the FTC North Super Regional Championship—this year set for April 3-5 in Iowa City—and eventually the national championship.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Segway inventor Dean Kamen to encourage student team building skills, entrepreneurship, and "gracious professionalism.”

Additional information is available by visiting the UI College of Engineering FIRST Tech Challenge website or by contacting Rebecca Whitaker, UI affiliate partner for FTC-Iowa, at or at 319-335-5706.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend, contact Whitaker in advance at 319-335-5706.