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This paper describes the motivation behind and development of a USAR environment for the entry-level division of RoboCup, namely RoboCupJunior Rescue. We describe the challenge as it has evolved since 2000. Further, we explain how we see a place for this initiative as part of a long-term plan to address issues in human-robot interaction, advancing technical literacy by introducing young students to robotics within a socially significant context. The need to be able to interact with technology is growing increasingly important. Preparing the next generation by exposing today's students to hands-on technology early on provides a more sophisticated population that is ready and willing to interact with complex technology whenever and if ever they need to - no matter whether these students become engineers, roboticists, schoolteachers, fire-fighters, ambulance drivers, doctors or lawyers.