Arkansas Economic Development Commission

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Arkansas FIRST Robotics Competition team to travel to China

MOUNTAIN HOME, Arkansas (June 13, 2016) – A team of eight students and two mentors from Mountain Home, Arkansas, will travel to Shanghai, China, August 12-14 to compete at the 2016 China Robotics Challenge. The students, members of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 16, known as the “Bomb Squad,” will spend two weeks prior to the competition working with students in the China Urban Youth Robotics Alliance to help the Chinese teams build FRC robots to compete in the games.

“The team will be an ambassador for Arkansas and the U.S., and it should be of great interest to our state and national leaders who have been working to develop relationships with the Chinese government and businesses,” said Meredith Novak, president of Arkansas FIRST Inc.  “The U.S. and China teams will build ongoing relationships that will provide great opportunities for their future work goals and accomplishments. The teams who did it last year had a Chinese team come stay in their community for a week and work with the host team then attend their “local” regional. Arkansas’ will be in early March at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock.”

This is the second year for the event which has attracted teams from all over the world including Brazil, Australia, Canada, Iowa, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, and Texas.

The Bomb Squad is in its 21st season and are members of the FIRST Robotics Hall of Fame. They were the 2012 FIRST World Champions and have been invited to the White House Science Fair and the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

For information on supporting or sponsoring Team 16, please contact Novak at or 870-404-3260.  Arkansas FIRST is a 501(C)(3) and is accepting tax deductible donations for the trip.

Download the 2016 Arkansas Economic Overview