Peoria, IL, March 12, 2008 – In an effort to make engineering fun and relevant for today's high school students and encourage them to consider a career in manufacturing, Advanced Technology Services, Inc., (ATS), is sponsoring a top notch team to build robots for the international FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. ATS is the industry leader in managed services for production equipment maintenance, IT infrastructure support and industrial parts repair for manufacturers.

Over 37,500 students form 1,500 teams worldwide to compete in this event. The students work with mentors to design, build and test robots in six weeks. The ATS-sponsored FIRST robotics team is a mix of twenty talented students from Peoria Notre Dame High School, five professional engineers, a machinist and volunteer parents who work with the students to challenge themselves in the world of engineering and research. All of the teams receive a standard robot-starter "kit of parts" that they then supplement with additional parts as required by their designs.

The ATS team, named Team Icarus from Greek mythology, placed 5th out of 45 teams in the seeding matches in the St. Louis Regional held on February 28th – March 1st, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. The team is now preparing for their upcoming competition in the Boilermaker Regional at Purdue to be held March 13th – 15th where they will compete in a different field of 40 teams. The team has been meeting six days a week during the build season – including Saturday - at the ATS corporate headquarters in Peoria, IL. There, the high school students work closely with their mentors to build and test their robot for competition.