robolion.jpgOn August 7th, members of Liberty High School's robotics team, the Robo-Lions, will travel down to Baltimore to compete in the annual Battle O' Baltimore. The event, which will be held at Boys Latin High School this year, draws over two dozen robotics teams from throughout the East Coast. The event is hosted by the FIRST Baltimore Area Alliance, a group of FIRST Robotics Competition teams located around Baltimore who share resources and strategy.

The mission of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which was founded by inventor Dean Kamen, is to set high school students on paths to careers in science and technology fields. Last year, over 32,000 students participated in FIRST-sponsored competitions.

In the FIRST Robotics Competition, students are given only six weeks to design, build, program, and test a 120 pound robot. The challenge that robots are built to participate in changes each year to keep teams on their toes, with this year's challenge being a soccer-like game called 'Breakaway'. Unique and ingenious designs are created each year, resulting in the FIRST Robotics Competition to be labeled as 'the varsity sport of the mind'.

The Robo-Lions have participated in the Battle O' Baltimore since its inception in 2007. Last year, the team made it to the Finals, only to suffer mechanical issues that crippled their robot. However, team members are optimistic about their chances this year and hope to take home the gold.

For more information, visit the Robo-Lions website, the Battle O' Baltimore website, or the FIRST website.

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