Secretary of Commerce To Visit Magruder HS

January 25, 2007
Commerce Secretary Gutierrez To Visit Magruder High School Students Preparing for Robotics Competition

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jerry D. Weast, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director William Jeffrey will visit with a team of students at Col. Zadok Magruder High School who are preparing for an international robotics competition.

The visit will take place on Monday, January 29, from 10 – 10:35 a.m.

The 24 students in Grades 9-12, members of the Magruder Robotics Club, are participating for the second straight year in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an annual challenge in which young people are paired with science and engineering professionals to design and build a robot in only six weeks that will solve a designated engineering problem or perform an assigned task. Five researchers from NIST are currently working with the Magruder students.

The 2007 FIRST challenge requires students to design and build a robot that can stack inflated colored tubes on pegs in a particular configuration in less than 2-1/2 minutes. In the 2006 FIRST competition, the teams had to create a robot that would score points by shooting foam balls through hoops and into floor goals.

During the January 29 event, the Magruder FIRST team will demonstrate for its guests the capabilities of the 2006 robot and describe their plans for meeting the 2007 challenge. The team’s first competition is March 16-17, 2007, at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where the Magruder robot will match its skills against machines from 64 other regional schools.

Monday, January 29, 2007
10:00–10:35 a.m.

Technology Education Room
Col. Zadok Magruder High School
5939 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, MD

Please park in the designated area next to the football stadium and sign in at the media registration desk. Press credentials and a photo ID are required. Media planning to attend the event should register by 2 p.m., Friday, January 26, 2007, by calling or e-mailing Michael Newman at 301-975-3025,

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