FIRST Robotics is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. The FIRST Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”
Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.
It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.
The FIRST program introduces students to the challenges required to work as a team to design, build and implement a plan to meet the game challenges as presented by the FIRST Robotics program. The game changes each year but the skills required to compete will remain the same. Students learn how to work as a team to work through the challenges and these skills will assist them in becoming successful in their lives beyond the classroom and high school years.
Many students need to work with their hands and see more real world experiences and this program allows them to do so. To be able to compete at the high level of engagement it does require a significant amount to tools and materials to get us started and this is what we are trying to do. The tools and safety equipment can be used by the team year after year. Some students will come into the program without any knowledge of what tool can be used for what job. By the time they finish the build season, they know what the tools are and how to safely use them.
Here is what the students are saying about this past season:
“I have learned that robotics is such a fantastic experience. It is also a great learning experience for STEM related fields. Throughout the robotics build season I have learned about pneumatics, cascade lifts, gear box assembly and wiring.”
“FIRST Robotics is an amazing program that has greatly affected my life this year and last. I have learned about wiring and construction, how to properly use tools and how to program a robot. I also made new friends and had a lot of (hard) fun.”
To make sure our students have the tools and equipment necessary we created a Donors request through DonorsChoose.org. On Monday, April 8, the request was funded by BoschUSA and Qualcomm. The companies are still willing to fund FIRST robotics requests so they have agreed to match dollar for dollar any amount given to our latest request. Please consider donating as even small amounts will help create a better program for our students.
The students will be planning some exhibitions to showcase this year’s robot in the upcoming weeks. We will let you know when and where as we get dates planned out.
If you know of a business that would like to support us in the upcoming year, please have them contact Renee Wheaton at firstname.lastname@example.org and she help you meet some of the students involved in the program so you can see what is being done. We would also like to start talking with community members who would like to be adult mentors. You do not need to know about building robots. We need mentors for digital and print media, record keeping, electrical, mechanical and computer programming. Please think about how you might be able to help for next year. In the meantime, please consider making a donation for our tools. No amount is tool small – especially when DonorsChoose it matching funds. Help us reach our goal.
Newmarket High School – Robotic Mentor