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ShepRobo Fest to be held March 26 and 27

ISSUED: 8 March 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(ShepRobo Fest to be held March 26 and 27)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering at Shepherd University will host the 2011 ShepRobo Fest robotics competition on March 26 and 27 at the Butcher Center.

Dr. Seung-yun Kim, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, said that part of the funding for the competition came from an Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant recently received to promote the department.

So far, 250 participants and spectators have registered for the event, according to Kim. Included in that number are participants from Martinsburg; Boonsboro and Hagerstown, Maryland; California; New Jersey; and Chicago, Illinois. Students from Hagerstown Technical High School and James Rumsey Technical Institute have also registered along with at least 10 teams from Shepherd's campus.

Kim said he expects the number of registered participants and specators to reach 300-400.

The competition will include three events for various age groups. The first event, the Firefighting Robot Contest, will be held for middle school through college-aged students. Event two, the Mech-Warfare Contest, is open to participants of all ages, and event three, the Lego League, will be held for students in grades 4 through 8.

Shepherd's Department of Contemporary Art and Theater will be creating a 16x16 arena for the Mech-Warfare competition, partnering with Patrick Wallace, theater technical director.

This nationwide competition is the only competition with this diversity on the east coast, according to Kim.

"We're hoping to make it an annual event and promote the campus and the Department of Computer Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering at Shepherd," Kim said. "We hope that this will bring economic development for the area and attract more computer science and engineering students, as well as retain current students to help them successfully graduate."

Check-in begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 26 and the competition will begin with opening remarks at 1 p.m. The competition will continue on Sunday, March 27 for the second round of the firefighting contest at 9:30 a.m.

Registration is free and open to all. Participants are encouraged to register early due to limited teams and seats available. Interested participants may also register the day of the event. A registration form is available at www.shepherd.edu/cmeweb/srf. Contact Dr. Kim at skim@shepherd.edu or 304-876-5017 for more information.

-30-KESNER

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Dr. Seung-yun Kim with a model of the ShepRobo Fest Mech-Warfare arena.

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