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FIRST competition kickoff, Jan. 5, 2013Competitors throughout the country and world learned at the same time via webcast and NASA-TV what this year’s the 2013 FIRST— For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — Robotics Competition challenge entailed.

Connor Houghton, left, a junior at Souhegan, and teammate Aaron Peters, a homeschooled junior, study the new game field, during the annual FIRST competition kickoff, held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Dean Kamen, founder and president of FIRST, gives a tour of the arena to Gov. Maggie Hassan during the annual FIRST competition kickoff held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Nicole Lyle, a senior at Manchester West High School, measures the pyramid during the annual FIRST competition kickoff held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Aaron Pepin, a senior at Hollis/Brookline High School, uses Skype to show a new problem, live, to the rest of the team back at the school, during the annual FIRST competition kickoff held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Aaron Pepin, a senior at Hollis/Brookline High School, uses Skype to show a new problem to the rest of the team back at the school, during the annual FIRST competition kickoff, held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Gov. Maggie Hassan speaks during the annual FIRST competition kickoff held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Jacob Tilton, from Manchester West High School's FIRST Robotics Team, measures the arena, during the annual FIRST competition kickoff, held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday.  (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Jad Hanna, a senior, takes a measurement with Revanth, during the annual FIRST competition kickoff, held at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)