LHS Robotics Team Kickoff the 2009 Regional Competition

Students from as far as Rhode Island and New Jersey or as close as our very own Londonderry High School PVC Pirates stood outside in the brisk air. People were clad in everything from duct tape robes, astronaut suits, and flags sporting team numbers wavered in the light breeze. Toolboxes, crates, and various other containers littered the sidewalk. They were all waiting for the moment they could finally get in and set up shop for the 2009 FIRST Robotics Granite State Regional Competition.

2008 FIRST Robotics Regional Competition

FIRST Robotics is a program founded by NH’s very own Dean Kamen and is headquartered out of the millyards of Manchester. It was created for the purpose of inspiring students to become the next science and technology heroes, and see that these fields can actually be fun. “By age 12, children seem to think that the only choice they have in life is to be a movie star or a sports athlete in order to be considered sucessful. We here at FIRST want to change that” (Dean Kamen). And how do you make something fun, something exciting that everyone in the entire community can participate in? You make a game out of it! This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition challenge was released on January 3rd. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, it’s game day.

Finally, at 8:30am the doors opened and while there hasn’t been an official opening cermonies yet, the competition has finally begun. And when I say finally, I mean after six weeks, six days a week, and 40+ hours a week – finally.  So come see your hometown PVC Pirates compete against 40 other teams and be blown away by what your very own students can do when they put their mind to good use with a little help and support from their mentors, parents, sponsors, and the community altogether.

Doors open each day at 8am until 4pm Friday the 27th and Saturday the 28th, and admission is free to the public.

Courtesy photo from the 2008 competition

For more information, visit the FIRST: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Website.

Also check out the PVC Pirate’s blog HERE for team specific information and updates throughout the competition days.

The author on this story, Stacey Champagne is a Londonderry High School Junior, and one of the “PVC Pirates” team members

Day #1 Regionals – Practice Rounds

February 26, 2009

Yet another frigid morning…

But hey, who cares, the 2009 BAE Granite State Regional is here! We’ve only been slaving to get ready for it for the past how many weeks? How many hours? Standing outside in the cold for a half hour or so was nothing – not in comparison to what we’ve accomplished, and what we are going to accomplish these next few days.

So far, everything has been running quite smoothly. There was, of course, the predicted “I’d rather forget” first practice match, where more time was spent cursing than cheering. But by the end of the day, from what I hear, Brendan and Matt M. (Operator and Driver) have become more comfortable and actually did quite well on our last practice match for the day. Good job guys!

Read more and follow along on the PVC Pirates Blog!


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  1. Spent the better part of the day at the Verizon with my son and one of his friends – we’ve been going to this event for several years and have never been disappointed!

    The finals are tomorrow with the awards ceremony in the afternoon – try to get there in the morning to watch the Final matches.

    BAE does a phenomenal job supporting this event (not just locally but nation-wide). I was amazed at not only the monetary commitment but the time and personnel commitment was well.

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