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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Thousands of students from around the world are again descending on St. Louis for a championship robotics competition.

The U.S. FIRST event returns to the Edward Jones Dome and America's Center downtown for the fourth straight year starting on Thursday.

Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen began the competition 25 years ago with the goal of boosting science in the way that high schools glorify sports.

The host organization's full name is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Organizers expect as many as 30,000 students, family members, coaches, mentors and spectators to attend.

The public is invited and admission is free.

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